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A THflliilNG 

t n ■ CALL 


>7 fantastic Natse/et 

AitJIrnaz/m/ Campfefe Novef By JOHN RUSSELL FEARN 

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A Complete Novel 



Physicist Grant Mayson re-creates Iana, the wonder 
girl of long ago, out of scattered atoms — but between 
them stands the memory of Anrax, long-dead master 
of science! 9 

Two Complete Novelets 

CALL HIM DEMON Keith Hammond 46 

Deep in bis fourth dimensional lair crouches the hungry monster, while 
only a band of children guards helpless adult victims ! 

POCKET UNIVERSES . . .Murray Leinster 70 

When a Latin-American tyrant visits New York, Luis Santos perfects 
a machine that can eliminate space — and exacts vengeance! 

Short Stories 

THE GOOD EGG Ross Rocklynne 37 

Square Root, the little imp from space, does some fast figuring 


John Farrel keeps his tryst with Ylleen, whose love means death 

THE LITTLE THINGS Henry Kuttner 85 

Dave Tenning, a born rebel, felt he did not belong in this Futureworld 


An atomic beauty of a distant era gives Tubby the eye 

Special Features 

THE READER SPEAKS Sergeant Saturn 6 


Cover Painting by Earle Bergey — Illustrating "Call Him Demon" 

Published every other month by STANDARD MAGAZINES, INC., 10 East 40th Street, New York 16, 
N. Y. N. L. Pines, President. Copyright, 1946, by Standard Magazines, Inc, Subscription (12 issues) $1.80. 
single copies, 15c. Foreign and Canadian postage extra. Entered as second-class matter May 21, 1936, at the 
Post Office at New York, N. Y., under the Act of March 3, 1879, Names of all characters used in stories 
and semi-fiction articles are fictitious. If the name of any Living person or existing institution is used, 
it is a coincidence. October, 1946, issue 


Read Our Companion Science Fiction Magazine — STARTLING STORIES 

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A Department Conducted by SERGEANT SATURN 

W ITH the increasing importance of 
science fiction and pseudo-science 
revealing itself more clearly every 
day, it has been increasingly brought home 
to the Sarge that by and large STF is no 
longer largely a game for the blooming of 
adolescent imaginations and humor. 

God forbid that imagination or humor 
should ever desert youth — or mature hu- 
manity either. Without both, this world 
would long since have ceased progressing — 
if, in truth, it is progressing. Certainly the 
Sarge would be lost without them as would 
his ever-loving correspondents. 

But after putting the old-style letter col- 
umn to the test and receiving a vigorous re- 
quest to change his manners or get out of 
print, from a vast majority of fans and read- 
ers, he has decided upon certain definite 
alterations in his epistolary personality. 

From now on, the following will be out- 
lawed in this column and its companion piece 
brates” : 

(1.) The Sarge is definitely on the wagon — at; least 
as far as Xeno is concerned. 

(2.) Frogeyes, Wart-ears and Snaggletooth are here- 
by relegated to the outer regions of space from which 
they stemmed. 

(3.) Space lingo as such is no longer for us. 

We reserve the right to make an occasional 
bad pun if the situation seems to demand it, 
and to burst into verse under obvious con- 
ditions. But otherwise, we shall answer 
queries, letters and insults as forthrightly as 
possible. Since our readers show evidence 
of wanting to grow up, it is the least we can 

But you readers must fulfill your part of 
this new deal. By way of a horrible example 
of what not to do any more, we are printing 
the following letter from one Guerry Brown, 
Box 1467, Delray Beach, Florida. If you want 

to be printed, study this and do something — 
almost anything else. Up to now we’d have 
considered this letter okay — but the old order 

Dear Sarge: I was walking along a dark, lonely road, 
the Spring, “46” issue of TWS (why I capitalize it, I 
don’t know) under my bullet-proof vest, when a long, 
dark limousine drew up alongside me, 

“There he is!” a hoarse voice shouted. “That’s the 
guy who bought the last issue of Thrilling Wonder 
Stories at the news stand. Grab him!” 

A horrible assortment of weird-looking robots 
clanked out and seized me. They tied me up, one of 
the robots sitting on my head while three others did 
the tying. Then they picked me up and tossed me in 
the car’s luggage compartment. Heh, heh, little did 
they know that they were dealing with the great G. 
C, Brown himself!!! 

By the time they reached their destination. I had 
worked loose my bonds, and as one of the robots 
opened the compartment I picked up a handy monkey 
wrench and bashed him in the head. His tubes and 
batteries were short-circuited, and he vanished in s. 
flash of purple flame. I destroyed three more robots 
before they finally managed to tie me up again. 

Then 1 was carried into a little weatherbeaten shack. 
The robots, directed by a little hunch-backed man, 
raised a trap door in the shack’s dusty floor, revealing 
a long, rickety flight of stairs leading down into 
nowhere. After being carried through many winding 
passages, we Anally came to a' steel door. The hunched- 
back man muttered some mysterious words, and the 
door opened. 

There, on a pedestal built of empty Xeno kegs sat 
SERGEANT SATURN. Around him clustered his three 
hideous attendants. Fresh kegs of Xeno kept rolling in 
from the brewery. A long pipe ran to the top of the 
pedestal. Under this the Sergeant sat, drinking the 
Xeno as it was piped from the kegs. Around the sides 
of the room were printing presses, evidently for print- 
ing TWS and SS. Next to the presses was what looked 
like a circular saw. I wondered for a moment what 
it was, then the truth dawned upon me. It was the 
machine for cutting the edges of the stf magazines. 
Two robots dragged me before the Sarge. He demanded 
that I give up my copy of TWS. 

“Uh-unh,” I said. 

“Okay, boys, let him have it,” the Sarge yelled. 
Several robots grabbed me and threw me on a table, 
and strapped me down. 

"No, no!” I cried, but it did no good. They out open 
my bullet-proof vest and yanked out the copy of TWS. 
A lean, ugly man with a ciose-cropped, bullet-shaped 
head and a long, wicked scar across his face came in, 
and one of the robots handed him the mag. 

“Ah, at last I have my masterpiece back!” he cried. 

This, evidently, was the great Earle Bergy, himself. 
Snaggletooth had dropped his last copy in the Xeno jug 
(Continued on page 101) 



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Mayson raised the lovely girl in his arms 

The Multillionth Chance 


Physicist Giant May son re-creates I ana, the wonder girl 
of long ago, out of scattered atoms — hut between them 
stands the memory of Anrax, long-dead master of science! 

Mystery Girl 

RANT MAYSON had done the job so 
many times it had lost all its fascina- 
tion. Long ago, when he had been a 
mere apprentice to this huge Transmutation 

Laboratory, he had gaped in wonder at the 
crash and crackle of twenty million volts of 
man-made lightning flashing between anode 
and cathode spheres as base elements were 
changed into commercial products, or rare 
metals, according to the demands of the 

Now, after twelve years of continuous as- 



sociation with this particular scientific mira- 
cle, he was in charge of Laboratory A and 
not over-thrilled by it either. 

Today, as usual, it was the same old rou- 
tine. He sat with his long, lean body folded 
up on the tub seat before the control board, 
deep inside the massive textolite globe which 
formed the cathode of the twin globes. 
Through a minute observation slit he saw the 
opposing globe fifty feet distant, the backdrop 
of the laboratory equipment behind it. 

“Lights out!” he barked into the telephone, 
and total darkness descended outside his 

There were no assistants inside the labora- 
tory: they were in the power-control rooms 
two blocks away from this center of vast 
disturbances to come. Grant Mayson was on 
his own, lord of the lightning indeed, atom- 
smashing and metal-mutating brought to 
such a fine art in this year of 1964 that the 
efforts of Rutherford and Van de Graaf of 
earlier years seemed like the stragglings of 
amateurs by comparison. 

Grant narrowed his keen blue eyes through 
the slit in the spherical wall, and took a last 
look round. He smoothed back the tumbled 
dark hair from his forehead, reached out his 
lean hand and closed the master switch. 

Nothing to do now but wait for the dials to 
tell him when the job was done. Unper- 
turbed, he watched lightning flicker and 
jump in rapid fire flashes. Green, blue, 
lavender, violet arrows were presently stab- 
bing to the dark laboratory roof and then 
down the massive supporting columns to 
earth, . . . 

The electrical fury grew apace, discharging 
its terrific main load into the giant vacuum 
tube a few yards away, at the base of which 
reposed the particular element to be con- 
verted. In ten minutes, Grant knew, that 
cube of crude metal would be gold, its atomic 
makeup shattered — moulded, and trans- 
formed into the precious metal. 

Gradually the whole laboratory began to 
quiver in an eery glow of streamers and fire- 
balls as twenty million volts crashed between 
the globes. Four minutes — five — six — 

T EN! The indicator needle quivered on 
the red line. 

Grant shut off the power and the miniature 
thunderstorm came to a sudden end. 

“Lights!” he snapped. He eased his lanky 
figure out of the chair, mopped his face, then 
opened the airlock of the dome. 

The cold-light arcs were blazing down from 
the roof now, flooding the wilderness of ap- 
paratus. Grant climbed steadily down the 
metal ladder, smiling at a sensation which 
once had worried him, that feeling of cramp 
and of having the hair lifted straight up by 
the static electricity. The reek of ozone, the 
smell of hot oil — same old set up. 

Humming a tune to himself he crossed the 
waste of concrete floor towards the vacuum- 
tube chamber, then half way to it he paused 
and blinked. His whistling stopped in mid 
bar and an expression of astounded wonder 
settled on his lean young face. 

There was something in the center of the 
floor that had no conceivable right to be 
there. A girl! She lay flat on her back, arms 
flung back over her head, legs stretched out 
in front of her. 

“What the devil!” Grant whispered, mov- 
ing a step or two closer to look at her. 

She was not like any girl one would see 
around in the ordinary way. For one thing 
her clothing was unusual. It consisted of a 
one piece garment with short sleeves, the 
material radiating light as though sewn with 
thousands of minute diamonds. Two dainty, 
sandaled feet were outthrust revealing a 
shapely turn of ankle. The arms below the 
sleeves were delicately moulded, the shoul- 
ders supple and broad. Blond hair lay swept 
back from her wide forehead, partly from 
natural tendency and partly from electric 

Grant moved directly over her and studied 
her face. It was oval and intelligent, with 
rather high cheekbones and delicately pointed 
chin. The brows were smooth and the nose 
straight. She had a firm yet womanly mouth. 

It suddenly dawned on Grant how utterly 
impossible the whole occurrence was. The 
laboratory was tightly locked. Only he and 
the Chief of Staff had the combination. By 
no possible means could this girl have en- 
tered here — and certainly the place had been 
empty before he had started up the gener- 
ators. He recalled his final survey. So? 

A LTHOUGH a scientist, he was only thir- 
ty-three, and he could not deny he ex- 
perienced a certain thrill of pleasure as he 
raised the girl gently in his arms. There was 
something about the contact of her body. But 
her eyes remained closed, her arms limp. To 
all intents and purposes she was out cold. 
Grant took her across to the nearest bench 
and laid her down upon it, pulling off his 


smock and rolling it up for use as a pillow. 

A bell shrilled. He turned impatiently to 
the department telephone. The voice of Bal- 
more, chief of staff, was at the other end. 

“Finished with Mutation Forty-two-G, 
Mayson?” he asked. 

“I — er — yes, sir, I’ve finished.” Grant 
rubbed his head. He was a trifle perplexed. 
“Good! What results?” 

“Results?” Grant looked towards the vac- 
uum tube and gave a sudden start. “I don’t 
know yet, sir. I haven’t looked.” 

“Haven’t looked!” Balmore ejaculated. 
“How the devil much longer are you going 
to be? I’m waiting for your report. Or is 
there something wrong?” 

“Well, not exactly, sir. I just — er — ” 

“There is something wrong!” Balmore de- 
cided. “I’ll come over right away.” 

Grant winced and put the receiver back. 
He realized now that he was in considerable 
difficulty. Women, unless they were tech- 
nicians and specially authorized by the Sci- 
ence Council, were utterly taboo in the 
varied departments. Any infraction meant 
dismissal. And here was a startling and none 
too discreetly attired blonde lying out cold 
on the bench. 

Grant was a fast thinker when it came to 
physics, but in this emergency he was 

In the intervening time he tried to think 
up half a dozen places where he could con- 
ceal the lady, but none of them seemed 
practicable. He was still trying to make up 
his mind when the laboratory door lock 
clicked and Stephen Balmore came in. 

n E WAS a small, sharp-featured man, 
likeable enough in his way, but filled 
with the austerity inseparable from his high 

“Just what is wrong here, Grant?” he de- 
manded, striding forward. “You’re taking 
the devil of a — great guns!” 

He broke off, as he caught sight of the girl. 
“That’s the reason, sir,” Grant said un- 
easily. “I give you my word that I don’t know 
where she came from. I’d just finished my 
routine when I found her lying unconscious 
on the floor.” 

“Oh!” Balmore said. 

As a man of the world he did not commit 
himself any further for the moment. He 
went closer to the girl and stared down at 
her, stroking his chin, his eyes traveling down 
the rounded lines of her figure. 

“Extraordinary!” he said, and coughed 

Grant said nothing for the moment because 
he feared the wrong words might pop out. 

“You realize this can be very serious, May- 
son?” Balmore’s use of the surname showed 
he was on his high horse. “You know the 
rules. It is preposterous for you to say that 
this woman just — just happened. Science is 
not magic, you know. She must have been 
hidden here, or something, and the electricity 
discharge probably drove her out of conceal- 
ment. Then she was overcome. She looks as 
though she has come from some kind of so- 
cial party. The dress, I mean. Amazing 

“I don’t agree that she was hidden some- 
where, sir,” Grant said, with sudden firm- 
ness. “This laboratory was totally empty 
when I began, and she was here when I’d 
finished. The only thing that happened be- 
tween my checkup and discovery of her was 
the discharge of twenty million volts of elec- 
tricity. That, under certain conditions, might 
produce many things!” 

“But not a blonde, young man!” 

Balmore considered, then his sternness 
relaxed a trifle. 

“I don’t want to jump to conclusions, Grant, 
for if I do you may find yourself without a 
job. I don’t want that. If you can find a 
logical reason for this occurrence, I’ll ask the 
Council to give you a full hearing. For the 
moment this young lady had — er — better be 
removed to the hospital.” 

Balmore paused and watched sharply as the 
girl suddenly moved lazily. In fact she would 
probably have fallen off the bench entirely 
had not Grant seized her shoulders. Lan- 
guidly she sat up and opened a pair of very 
large, steady gray eyes. 

Grant looked at her, and Balmore peered 
over his shoulder. 

“Who are you?” Grant demanded. “How 
did you get here?” 

For a moment or two she did not seem to 
understand. Then she broke into a tumbling 
succession of strange words. Short little sen- 
tences with the words oddly broken off. At 
the end of two minutes of nonstop gibberish, 
she looked from one man to the other in 
plaintive inquiry. 

“No good,” Grant shrugged. “We don’t 
understand you. Do you, sir?” 

“Hanged if I do,” Balmore replied. “I’m 
not bad at languages, but this has me beaten. 
We’d better get the experts to work. . . . 


the nui<xiLEiom:H caramar 

Anyway, Grant, this lessens the charge 
against you. This girl is not ordinary by any 
means, either in language, looks, or — hmm! — 
figure.” He glanced at her keenly. 

“Fine girl, confound it,” he growled. 

Grant smiled in relief and by motions 
showed the girl that she was expected to 
stand up. She nodded her golden head and 
slid gracefully from the bench. She was about 
five feet eight tall, with the majestic carriage 
of a queen. 

“This way.” Balmore motioned, taking her 
arm. He nodded back at Grant. “Get the 
report of that mutation, Grant, then come 
along to the hospital. We’ll see what we can 
do there.” 

Giant nodded, bitterly aware of the fact 
that he dare not show he was jealous of his 
chiefs monopoly of the mystery girl. 

The Council Decides 

T HE inexplicable arrival of a beautiful girl 
in a physical laboratory at the height of 
an atom-smashing process was something 
that cap'tured the rather science-steeped 
imagination of the mass of people. 

Dozens of stories were circulated, printed, 
radioed, and televized, few of which bore re- 
lation to the truth. The Science Council did 
not like it, either, and frowned with ever in- 
creasing severity on the hapless young sci- 
entist whom they deemed responsible for 
their sacrosanct laws being broken. 

For all the efforts of Stephen Balmore, 
Grant found himself in an increasingly pre- 
carious situation. He had a week to find a 
reasonable explanation or else be dismissed. 
The fact that the language experts said the 
girl spoke gibberish did not count. After all, 
any girl could talk gibberish if she wanted 

It appeared far more likely that for some 
reason the studious Grant Mayson had kicked 
■over the traces and somehow gotten himself 
entangled. The scandal mongers worked 
overtime on this theory. As for the girl’s 
clothing, dress designers were of the opin- 
ion that it was certainly rare stuff, but it 
could be an exclusive creation from abroad. 

Grant saw the danger lights ahead. He 
went to visit the girl in her private room at 

the hospital and struggled valiantly to get 
some sense out of her. Attired now in the 
clothes normal to the day and age, she had 
lost thereby none of her beauty but she had 
certainly become more bewildered. All she 
could do to Grant’s impassioned questions 
was raise her graceful shoulders helplessly, 
or spread her hands, or — chiefly — just gaze 
fixedly with her big gray eyes. 

“But, Miss Who-ever-you-are, this is aw- 
ful!” Grant cried, pacing the room in agita- 
tion. “What can I do to make you under- 
stand? You must have a name, or some- 

“A — name?” she repeated awkwardly. 

Grant pointed to himself and said “Grant 
Mayson” until his throat was dry. The , girl 
gathered the implication finally and said 
“Iana” several times. Her name was at last 

“You came here,” Grant said deliberately, 
sitting down opposite to her. “Nobody knows 
how — but you do.” Then as she just sat and 
waited, he sighed and rubbed his hair. “What 
am I talking about?” he groaned. “I might 
as well describe the calculus to a baby!” 

He paused, his eyes brightening at his own 
unthinking remark. 

“Calculus!” he repeated softly. “Mathe- 
matics! Say, maybe I have something. The 
law of mathematics is universal, according to 
the savants. Look, Iana, do you understand 

He whipped up a piece of paper and put 
three figures on the sheet — three figure Ts — 
drew a line underneath and added “6.” The 
girl studied it for a moment. 

After he had put four 7s she wrote 28 with- 
out hesitation. The figures she made were 
distinguishable, though not entirely normal 
in outline. 

“You understand me!” Grant yelped. 
“We’ve mathematics in common! What else 
have you?” 

Evidently quite a deal for, as he handed 
the paper to her, she went to work busily 
with normal figures, then complicated ones, 
and finally threw in a problem or two in j 
Euclid for good measure. This done, and sat- j 
isfied Grant understood, she began the exe- ! 
cution of complicated formulae which made 
Grant, for all his pretty extensive scientific j 
knowledge, frown deeply. 

Finally he gave up watching her figuring 
and instead gazed at her intelligent, mobile 
features as she worked. He read sharp per- 
ception there, a great gift for abstract reason- 


ing, purpose in the chin. This girl was not 
figuring for amusement, which was one rea- 
son why he felt there was deep meaning to 
the paper of figures she finally handed to him. 

“For me?” he asked, pointing to himself. 

She nodded promptly, then pantomimed 
an attitude of deep concentration, pointing at 
him earnestly. 

“For me to study,” he nodded. “Right, I 
will — though I don’t think it’s going to be a 
picnic. . . . See you later.” 

He left the room quickly and headed 
straight for the analytical department in his 
own place of work, where he could have the 
free run of the mathematical calculators 
which could do much of the work for him. 

It was four in the afternoon when he went 
in and the staff, though curious, paid no at- 
tention to him. They had all gone and it was 
midnight when he had finished. 

He smiled slowly to himself, rubbing his 
somewhat aching head as he surveyed the 

“So that’s it!” he whispered. “She’s told 
me, through the universal language of figures. 
I fit in the odd parts by my own imagination. 
The multillionth chance came off! Wow, is 
this something for the Scientific Council!” 

D URING the following afternoon, in re- 
sponse to his special request that his 
defence be heard, the Science Council met. 
They took their seats in the raised tiers and 
waited for the proceedings to begin. Grant 
was standing on one raised dais in the center 
of the huge room, and the unknown girl was 
poised majestically on a dais some yards 
from him. 

Silent, some of them grim-faced, the scien- 
tists looked down on the two chief figures in 
the drama. On the one hand was a young 
man prepared to fight for his position as a 
scientist, and on the other the fate of an un- 
known girl was at stake. For unless some 
definite reason could be given for her pres- 
ence, both in the laboratory and the city it- 
self, law would demand her removal to a 
vagrant’s colony, about the worst fate that 
could befall anybody. 

“You have a solution to this — er — puzzling 
affair?” Balmore asked, as' presiding chair- 
man of the Council. 

“I have, sir — -yes. How much of it you and 
the gentlemen of the Council will believe 
depends entirely on your scientific credulity. 
Yesterday, this girl — who gives her name to 
me as Iana — handed to me a mass of com- 

putations she had worked out, I have defi- 
nitely established that she is a first class 
mathematician and — if we could only under- 
stand her — she is probably a. first class scien- 
tist, too. However, I have the original figures 
here — ” Grant waved a sheaf of papers in the 
air “ — and my own studies along with the 
mathematical machines have worked them 
out. Iana explains her appearance amongst 
us as a multillionth chance of Nature. The 
same kind of chance that might cause a kettle 
of water to freeze on a fire instead of coming 
to a boil.” 

“What precisely has that to do with it?” 
asked one member acidly. 

“I am not a great scientist, gentlemen,” 
Grant said quietly. “For that reason I would 
like to hark back for a moment to a master 
mind of bygone days — Sir Arthur Eddington. 
He sums up our case very neatly when he 
says — ‘By a highly improbable, but not im- 
possible coincidence, the multillion particles 
making up an organic or inorganic body 
might accidentally arrange themselves in a 
distribution with as much organization as at 
an earlier instant. The chance is about one 
in twenty-seven billion million, which proves 
that the world is a mass of probabilities, drift- 
ing towards greater and greater disorganiza- 
tion and final entropy.*” 

“Yes, yes, quite,” Balmore agreed. “We 
know the law of probability, entropy, and 
chance. But do you really mean to say that 
this young woman here actually came into 
being by — by some law of chance?” 

“Eddington, sir, approximates the time for 
the re-formation of a former mass of atomic 
aggregates into a prior setup at something 
like three million years,” Grant answered. 
“That, though, is purely an arbitrary time: 
it could be longer, or shorter. What I say is 
this: The girl has existed somewhere before, 
and perhaps she died. Her atomic makeup 
was automatically dispersed, maybe drifted 
free in the cosmos but — by the law of chance, 
operating in a way it will yet take us centu- 
ries to fully understand — the exact aggre- 
gates, down to the last detail, formed again 
into just the identical pattern of a former 
instant. This fact, and the terrific electrical 
interplay in the laboratory — where those 
atoms at that moment must have been drift- 
ing, unresolved — brought about a sudden re- 

“This girl took on a former pattern, even 
‘Neva Pathways in Science by Sir Arthur Eddington. 


to the last jewel on her dress, and so — lives 
again! It might never happen again through- 
out eternity. But it happened this time! The 
multillionth chance came off! You have to 
admit, gentlemen, that you might take a deck 
of cards, shuffle it completely, and yet find it 
back in the original order when you exam- 
ined it. It would be a multillionth chance, 
but it could happen! And it has happened 
here with this girl. . . .” 

There was silence for a moment, the girl 
watching intently and Grant rather surprised 
at his own ready grasp of the complicated 

“Certainly,” Balmore said presently. “We 
admit the theory of chance, because we are 
scientists. But how do you account for the 
mind of this girl? If she once died, how does 
it happen that her mind is operating again?” 

W ITH knitted brows Grant considered 
the question carefully before replying. 
“I cannot go into the deep issues with my 
limited knowledge, sir,” he answered. “But 
I do suggest to you that a mind is disembodied 
unless it operates through a particular con- 
figuration of atoms — a body. No two bodies 
are the same; hence none but the mind for 
that body can operate through it. It seems 
therefore that the mind of Iana operated per- 
fectly through her former body. It became 
disembodied when her body died, but when 
the same reassembly appeared her mind au- 
tomatically operated through that setup 

Once more the silence. 

Then a derisive laugh burst from one of 
the members. 

“Of all the preposterous theories to explain 
an unknown girl in a private laboratory, this 
is the most unique. I’ll see if I can remember 
it to tell my wife the next time I come home 

There was a titter of amusement and Grant 
looked round at the faces rather desperately. 
Head was nodding towards head, and it was 
clear, despite his leaning towards belief, that 
Balmore was obliged to obey the will of the 

After some minutes of whispered conver- 
sation he silenced the gathering with his 
gavel and then stood up slowly. 

iana, Mayson, Balmore and the 
other scientists gazed in awed si- 
lence through what appeared to be 
clear glass down into a great room 
where men were sitting at instru- 
ment boards 


“I am sorry, Mayson,” he said quietly. 
“Deeply sorry! But your explanation is not 
accepted. The Council rules that you be dis- 
charged from your position and that this un- 
known woman be handed over to the Vagrant 
Commission. Your duties will terminate at 
midnight tonight. The meeting is now closed.” 

Grant stared stupidly, stunned by the edict. 
Just as the assembly was about to rise the 
girl herself hurried forward from the dais, 
waving her hands imperiously. 

Everybody paused, and Balmore waited 

“Wrong!” the girl insisted, and repeated 
the word several times. “Grant Mayson right! 
I — I — ” She waved a helpless hand as she 
searched for the right word. “I — prove!” she 
exclaimed finally. 

“So she does talk English after all?” a 
member observed drily. 

“Why not?” Grant demanded. “She is a 
highly intelligent woman, and I spent a lot 
of time yesterday trying to find a few words 
she could understand. She’s been here long 
enough to have picked up smatterings, any- 
how. Give her a chance, I beg you!” 

T HE girl glanced at him anxiously, then 
back to Balmore. 

“Prove!” she repeated urgently, pointing to 
herself. “First — first learn — er — language.” 
“That’s fair enough,” Grant cried. “Get the 
best linguists in the country and in two weeks 
she’ll talk better than any of us. You just 
can’t condemn her, and incidentally me, with- 
out a hearing.” 

There was a momentary hesitation, and 
Balmore seized his opportunity. 

“That is fair enough, gentlemen,” he said. 
“That the explanation is strange, even fan- 
tastic, does not mean that it should be con- 
demned summarily. At least, as scientists, 
we should give the unusual every chance to 
prove itself. Am I x’ight?” 

Gradually heads begun to nod, and finally 
the majority raised their hands in agreement. 
Grant looked round with a sigh of relief, 
then hurried forward and caught the girl’s 

“Can I make this my own responsibility, 
sir?” he asked, and Balmore gave a grave 

“You can. Miss— er— Iana will remain at 
her room in the hospital, and there will be 
special hours allotted for you and the lin- 
guists to see her. Upon that decision the 
Council rests.” 

Iana Demonstrates 

A FTER getting this reprieve, Grant May- 
son wasted no time. He summoned lan- 
guage experts from all parts of the country 
to pour forth their knowledge to the eager, 
interested girl. Now that she realized some- 
thing definite was afoot she was desperately 
anxious to leam — as indeed were the lin- 
guists to gain the rudiments of her own odd 

For a week the exchange went on — for a 
fortnight. At the end of that time, thanks to 
a ready brain and every modem invention 
for expressing phonetics and inflexion, the 
girl was word perfect. But her mentors were 
baffled. Her own language was utterly un- 
known which, if anything, served to strength- 
en the case for her and Grant. 

“Before we go to the Council room again 
tomorrow morning,” Grant said seriously, 
paying his nightly visit for the fourteenth 
time, “can’t you tell me beforehand what this 
is all about? I mean, I sort of feel entitled 
to it.” 

She smiled gently, laid a delicate hand on 
his arm. 

“Of course you are entitled to it, Grant. 
But, told in plain, cold words such as I have 
learned it would not even be credible. To 
explain in detail I need to use telepathy, the 
science of the mind. Then, and only then, 
will you and the other scientists thoroughly 
understand the truth.” 

“Oh!” Grant looked at her beautiful face 
intently and he frowned a little. “But — but 
to do as you say would mean the absolute 
control of the minds of your listeners, 
wouldn’t it?” 

“Of course,” she agreed simply. 

Grant got to his feet and began to pace the 
room slowly. 

“You can’t just say that, Iana. I don’t know 
yet where you come from, but I do know that 
we at least are limited to the merest outlines 
of telepathy. It is only with difficulty that we 
can send a mental message across a gap, and 
even then we sometimes need electrical am- 
plification. Yet you oasually suggest bend- 
ing many wills to your own. It can’t be 

“Yes, Grant, it can,” she answered, quite 
undisturbed. “I understand telepathy com- 


pletely. I know I am dealing with a race of 
people not particularly clever. By that I 
mean that they do not understand, as yet, the 
secrets of radiant energy, pure atomic force, 
ethereal waves, and so on. In fact, so far, you 
yourself are about the cleverest scientist I 
have encountered. You are clever, you 
know,” she added seriously, as he looked at 
her in surprise. “You worked out everything 
from those figures I gave you, just by using 
your imagination. That signifies mental abil- 
ity of a high order. It’s funny, really.” 

“How — funny?” 

“You remind me a little of Cal Anrax.” 
Her voice had become quite wistful now. “He 
was clever too, and a marvelous scientist. We 
were to have been what you call married, 
only — Well, he was a wonderful man with 
a fine, keen brain. And yet he was so gentle, 
so fine a ruler. You remind me of him quite 
a lot, even in appearance.” 

Grant looked at her wide gray eyes fixed 
upon him, and gave a little cough. 

“I’m not so hot, Iana. I’m just a routine 
scientist with a liking for the unexpected 
and a gift for solving scientific problems. As 
for this genius of a Cal Anrax, your marriage, 
and the reason why it didn’t come off — well, 
it is what we call double talk. I’ll need the 
facts before saying anything.” 

“And you shall have them, tomorrow,” she 
promised, and from that moment Grant lived 
only for the following day. 

When he and the girl faced the Council 
again she simply repeated all that she had 
told him — that telepathy alone could make 
matters clear. 

“Then what do you suggest?” Balmore 
asked. “There are two hundred of us here. 
You do not seriously suggest that you could 
get the whole two hundred of us in sympathy 
with your own mind?” 

“With so much disbelief, no,” the girl ad- 
mitted. “What I would like is for six of you 
who are willing to believe — which includes 
you, Dr. Balmore — to become willing sub- 
jects of my experiment. It will not take long, 
no more than an hour. But in that period I 
can make everything clear to you, can outline 
a history such as you have never dreamed 
of, and which will add itself to the annals of 
your own scientific records.” 

“You mean here — now?” Balmore asked, 
wondering. Iana nodded her fair head. 

I MMEDIATELY face bent towards face in 
consultation; then at length Balmore rose 

and with four other members stepped down 
from the highest tier to the center of the big 
floor. Grant too moved from his dais and 
joined the little group. 

“Sit down,” the girl invited — and chairs 
were brought. At her orders the six men 
made a circle with her in the center, standing, 
and looking at each of them in turn. 

“I would like the windows covered,” she 
added, glancing round, so Balmoje gave the 
order and deep gloom fell upon the big hall. 
To Grant, watching intently, the girl’s figure 
remained faintly visible as she moved to look 
at each man closely. 

Then, gradually, as she stood before him 
at length, he felt a strange sensation creep- 
ing over him. A lack of interest in his sur- 
roundings, deepening into an intense, dreamy 
lethargy. The girl’s voice floated to him— 
reedy, faraway. 

“What you will shortly experience will be 
the objective viewpoint of a projected mind 
— my mind,” she explained. “You will gaze 
upon scenes and incidents, be a part of them, 
and yet in no way connected, just as you 
would watch the unfolding of a play on a 
telescreen. All that you will see is fact, based 
upon my own experience, as I know these 
events happened. The remembrances of my 
mind will communicate themselves to you and 
finally — I trust — you will understand. . . 

She ceased talking and there was a heavy 
silence. Grant — all the men present indeed 
— felt their senses slipping. A whirling, im- 
palpable darkness closed in. . . . 

* * * * * 

Evening had settled over the Martian land- 
scape. Over the ruling city of Jaloon with its 
wilderness of white, delicately tapered build- 
ings, across the fields and grazing land that 
surrounded it, the sky had the violet tinge of 
twilight and stars winked through the warm 
air. Out in the west a single wisp of amethyst 
cloud traced the sun’s departure. 

There was quiet — the deep quiet of a city 
that has conquered the distraction of noise. 
Deeply buried power houses made not a 
sound — the airliners creeping down to their 
distant bases might have been drifting leaves 
— the textalian rubber streets absorbed com- 
pletely the sounds of endless traffic. 

As the darkness deepened lights sprang up 
simultaneously all over the city, steady, 
white, shadowless fights which threw the 
buildings into brilliant relief. 

Cal Anrax, standing on the balcony at the 
summit of the city’s controlling building, 



gave a little sigh. The peace did not delude 
him in the least. News which he had received 
only an hour before only made it look all the 
more deceptive. 

He was a tall man, spare and sinewy, the 
strength of his still young figure revealed by 
the brief, togalike costume he wore. Brown, 
muscular hands gripped the safety rail. His 
face had something of the keen steadiness of 
a poised eagle as he looked out over the 

A light footfall disturbed his thoughts and 
he turned sharply. The brief impatience on 
his strong face faded into a smile of welcome. 

“Iana — dearest. I wondered if you would 

“But why not? You sent out a summons 
for me, didn’t you? You hinted at news of 

“Yes. I am afraid it is all too important.” 

Cal Anrax’s eyes studied the girl for a 
moment — slender, blond, gray-eyed, the soft 
night wind moulding her white, flowing gown 
against the smooth curves of her figure. She 
in her turn stood waiting, anxious. 

“I’ve received serious news,” Cal Anrax 
went on, looking back at the city. “We are 
on the very verge of war. As you know, it 
has been hovering like — like some primordial 
menace for the last two years, and now it 
has flared into imminent nearness. I dare to 
think that before dawn invasion will have 

“Vaxil!” The girl’s lips set bitterly. 

“Yes, Vaxil.” Cal Anrax turned back im- 
patiently into the expanse of his controlling 
office and the girl followed him slowly. “It 
has been perfectly obvious, Iana, for long 
enough past that Vaxil has been heading for 
war. A clever scientist, but not so clever 
that he cannot see that war only ends in de- 
struction for all. However, the uncomfortable 
fact remains that he owns half this planet, 
and we own the other half. We — more by 
luck than judgment perhaps — have a united, 
peaceable people behind us. Your father 
handed over the control of the Western Hem- 
isphere to me on his deathbed, and the people 
have taken to me kindly. . . .” 

"■WERE Anrax paused for a moment, as 
AM. memories stirred within his mind. 

“Our peace, our quiet scientific progress, 
does not suit Vaxil or the people of the East- 
ern Hemisphere,” he continued, after a mo- 
ment. “They have not our sense of restful- 
ness. The spirit of aggression is deep within 

them. Why? Because Vaxil is not a good 
psychologist. He invents laws that only irri- 
tate his people, under the mistaken impres- 
sion that he is doing them good. They cast 
their eyes our way and see peace and 

“If, perhaps, they could conquer us and 
have the whole planet instead of half of it 
then — they reason — they too could have peace 
and advancement. So Vaxil has told them, 
anyway, because he won’t be content with 
anything less than the entire domination of 
Alron. . . . 

“An hour ago, Iana, I received news over 
the telepath that a massive armada of air 
machines and a million land cruisers are 
ready to move. A robot army of five million 
is ready too. That ew «nly mean— war.” 
“Yes, war,” the girl muttered. “To me it 
will be a new experience for there has been 
no war in two centuries, when the subdivi- 
sion of the two Hemispheres was agreed 
upon. I’ve only seen the conflict in the 
records or heard it over the sound recaller. 
But now — Cal, dearest!” 

She caught at his arm suddenly. 

“Can’t you make a last appeal to reason? 
Send out a message to Vaxil and everybody 
in the Eastern Hemisphere. You are the ruler 
here, as fine a one and as great a scientist as 
any that ever lived. I beg of you to try it — 
as your betrothed, not as your royal adviser. 
As a woman, my whole soul revolts against 
this impending, senseless bloodshed.” 

Cal’s firm lips broke into a faint smile. He 
put an arm about the girl’s shoulders and 
kissed her gently. 

“How many women, how many betrothed, 
have perhaps asked that of a man down the 
centuries?” he murmured. “I respect your 
motives, the sweetness of your sex which is 
revolted by this beastliness. But I am the 
master of a Hemisphere!” His voice grew 
stern. “The ruler of ten million happy people 
— scientists, all of them, with a right to five 
and challenge all the devils of hell if their 
progress be threatened. 

“I shall make no appeal to reason, Iana. I 
shall destroy Vaxil and all those who try to 
attack us. Believe me, this has not caught me 
unprepared. You see no airplanes, you see 
no tractors, you see not a thing to prove that 
our Hemisphere is defended. But it is! For 
two years I’ve made preparations, so secret 
I did not even dare to tell you.” 

“I should have known,” she said quietly, 
smiling. “Just for the moment I thought we 



were unprepared. . . . What happens now?” 

“We go below,” he answered briefly. “My 
headquarters are duplicated to be the same 
a mile under the ground as they are here. I 
can have around me every scientific need for 
the direction of the battle — every eye and ear 
of science to see what happens. You must 
come with me. Alone there, with the fate of 
millions in my hands, I should feel none too 
sure. But with you, wife-to-be, I can do 

He took her arm, and without further 
argument she followed him across the big 
room to a shield in the wall. Pressure on a 
button sent it sliding up soundlessly. They 
stepped into a small elevator and pressure on 
another button released the compressed air 
from beneath its floor. Swiftly, without any 
sensation of falling, they dropped a mile into 
the earth and stepped out into a huge room 
— flooded with light — which was an exact 
replica of the office they had just left. 

Behind them, as they walked forward, the 
tertanex shield went back into place. Hardly 
had Cal reached the control desk with its 
seven hundred vital buttons before the inter- 
com radio buzzed for attention. 


A uniformed guard appeared on the tele- 

“Evacuation is complete, sir, and all trained 
scientists have been directed to their posi- 

“Good!” Cal closed a switch and snapped 
another one urgently as a priority-screen 
glowed urgently for attention. It was the un- 
emotional face of the Directional Tower Con- 
troller which appeared. 

“Invasion has been launched from Eastern 
Hemisphere, sir,” he announced briefly. 
“First aerial armada due in five minutes.” 

^ » 

Cal Anrax’s blue eyes hardened for a mo- 
ment and his lean jaw tightened. He spoke 
briefly into a microphone. 

“Follow out Combat Plan Seventy-seven- 
SA,” he ordered. “Report in fifteen minutes. 
I’ll handle the rest from here.” 

He switched off and sat down in the control 
chair, motioned to Iana to settle beside him. 
She obeyed without uttering a word, unwill- 
ing to disturb his concentrations. In silence 
she kept her eyes fixed on the giant central 
screen which gave a complete televized view 
of the city and landscape outside. 

Red War 

I T WAS not long before menacing shapes 
appeared. The night sky outside was 
presently patterned by dark, swiftly moving 
shapes. With the moments they came so thick 
and fast that the stars themselves were blot- 
ted out. 

Then came hell itself! Concussion smote 
the city, concussion so violent that even at 
this mile depth the buried control room quiv- 
ered under the impact. 

Again — and again — until the quivering 
merged into one complete vibration. Cal An- 
rax gave a grim smile. His lean fingers be- 
gan to play over the control keys in front of 
him as though it were a complicated organ, 
Iana, though by no means an amateur scien- 
tist, could not even hope to guess at the sub- 
tle mechanics involved. Cal Anrax himself 

[ Turn page] 



had invented this master-keyboard, the 
brains of a city’s defense, and since he was 
the greatest scientist the Western Hemisphere 
had ever produced there was no point in her 
questioning him. 

She caught her breath suddenly and 
watched intently in the major and minor 
screens as the swarming armada of bombing 
planes was suddenly changed from a dark, 
shapeless mass against the stars to a plainly 
outlined solid phalanx of fliers. Secret flood- 
lighting, directed from the bowels of the city 
and merging into one flaring sea of light, had 
every section and fragment of the attacking 
fleet enveloped in an effulgence as bright as 

“Now we can see what we’re doing,” Cal 
murmured, his fingers still playing on the 

The automatic defenses of the city came 
into being immediately under his remote con- 
trol. Blast rays ripped forth, leaving a wake 
of condensation in the air. Neutronic guns 
hurled their deadly load into the bellies of 
the fliers. From directional towers at the 
city’s four corners radiant energy spread 
forth in its basest and most deadly form, 
heating the attackers to an intolerable degree 
by the sudden kinetic interchange. 

Chaos broke loose. 

The fliers turned and twisted and dived 
to escape one defense and ran smack into 
another. Three planes crashed and their 
bombs with them. Others fell in the middle 
of the city and exploded with cataclysmic 
violence. Cal had formed a complete trap 
round the city. To escape from the neutron 
guns meant colliding with the radiant energy 
waves, and to escape from those meant run- 
ning the deadly battery of blast rays. 

Not that the city itself was improved by 
the counter onslaught. The bombs fell just 
the same, sowing ruin in a criss-cross pattern. 

The intercom buzzed and Cal flicked the 

“Land armor invaders two miles south of 
city, sir,” said the impartial Directional Tow- 
er Controller. 

Cal nodded and threw another series of 
buttons into commission. Out on the city 
outskirts another mass of scientific equip- 
ment moved to the ready — 

Then, abruptly, there was a concussion so 
violent from somewhere above that the un- 
derground room rocked beneath it. Cal found 
himself half flung from his chair and Iana 
went pitching against the control board. 

Other things had happened too. The flaring 
illumination light on the armada had van- 
ished. Cal’s frantic play over the switches 
failed to have any effect in any direction. 

“The devil!” he breathed, staring at the 
power-meters fixedly. “Look! Power’s 

He met the girl’s wide, anguished eyes. 

“Only one explanation,” he said bitterly. 
“Somewhere we have a traitor amongst us — 
a thing I could never have expected. I was 
of the opinion we were united. That concus- 
sion we felt. It must have been from the 
major power room buried a mile away. All 
my apparatus was powered from there. And 
somebody’s destroyed it!” 

For a moment he seemed incapable of 
thinking. He stared mutely at the giant 
screen, operating from its subsidiary unit. 
He winced at the concussion of a rain of ex- 
plosives from above. 

“I can’t fight the inevitable,” he whispered, 
clenching his fists. “Without power we’re 
helpless.” His hand reached out for the 
microphone. “Good job the subsidiary unit 
feeds the radio equipment and lighting any- 
way. . . .” 

“But what are you going to do?” the girl 
demanded, catching his arm. 

LOOKED at her steadily. 

“I am going to surrender.” 

“But you can’t surrender! Don’t you real- 
ize what it means if Vaxil gains control of our 

“Of course. But I also realize that he has 
got control already. I can’t fight without 
weapons, and the only way to save something 
from the wreck is to surrender on the best 
terms we can get. It isn’t cowardice, Iana; 
it’s common sense. It isn’t his scientific skill 
that has given him the victory; it’s my own 
stupidity! For one thing I trusted the people 
too much and did not suspect a possible 
traitor, and for another I made the fatal mis- 
take of concentrating all my defensive power 
in one spot. With the heart destroyed, so are 

Cal turned and switched on the micro- 

“Cal Anrax speaking,” he announced brief- 
ly. “Put me in direct touch with Vaxil over 
priority waveband.” 

There was an interval, then out of the 
lambent weavings of color on the screen the 
stern, sharply chiseled face of the Eastern 
Hemisphere ruler appeared. 



“You have something to say?” he asked, 
laconic as always. 

“Only a few words,” Cal answered in a 
quiet voice, “I am prepared to surrender. 
What are your terms?” 

“Unconditional! With your main source of 
power gone what else do you expect?” 

“What does ‘unconditional’ constitute?” Cal 

Vaxil reflected for a moment. 

“You are a brilliant man, Cal Anrax, and 
a scientist like myself. For that reason I am 
inclined to extend clemency. The terms I 
impose demand your personal surrender to 
my commander in the field, together with the 
personage of the Princess Iana and the twen- 
ty men and women who form your Govern- 
ment. That done, I will decide what shall 
become of you.” 

Cal was silent, his lips tight. He glanced 
at the girl. 

“You have no alternative,” she said, low 

Cal turned back to the instrument. “Very 
well, I agree. Instruct your field Commander 
to meet us in Central Square within an hour, 
hostilities to cease forthwith.” 

Vaxil nodded and switched off his instru- 
ment. Cal did likewise, sat for a long moment 
in thought, then with a shrug of his lean 
shoulders he got to his feet. 

“Does this mean — death?” the girl asked 
soberly. “Tell me if it does, Cal. It’s only 
right that I should know. I’m not afraid to 

He put an arm about her. 

“Everything depends on the mind of Vaxil, 
dearest. He is not a vicious man, a swagger- 
ing conqueror. He fancies himself as a kind 
of magnanimous superscientist, and for that 
very reason he may flatter himself by show- 
ing us the courtesy to which our high rank 
entitles us. If we escape death, there is much 
I can do. If not — well, we’ll have to face it. 
We’ll give them time to call off the war dogs. 
Then we’ll go up to the surface.” 

Iana got to her feet and stood in despondent 
silence. Cal looked at her and smiled tautly. 

“This isn’t the end, Iana,” he said gently. 
“If life is still permitted to us we can yet 
avenge these wrongs. I shall live only for 
that! Remember that I am a better scientist 
than Vaxil. I’ve made a mistake this time, 
and I admit it. But give me the slenderest 
chance to turn round and fight back and I’ll 
smash Vaxil forever. I’ll reclaim not only 
our own Hemisphere but conquer his as well. 

You’ll see.” 

It was three days later, with Vaxil fully in 
power in Jaloon, before Cal Anrax and Iana, 
with the men and women of their former 
Government, learned their fate. They were 
summoned before the Grand Council of Con- 
querors in the city’s administration hall, and 
in silence listened to the Eastern ruler as he 
spoke from the head of the council table. 

“Death is the obvious answer— but by no 
means a sensible one,” he said slowly. “Only 
fools destroy people who are clever scientists. 
Yet on the other hand, if I permit you to live 
on this planet there may come a time when 
your ingenuity will prove to my detriment. 
So, I have to choose between that possibility 
on the one hand and death on the other. That 
leaves only one course — banishment!” 

C AL ANRAX tensed a little and cast Iana 
a quick look. Around them the assem- 
bled men and women waited, grimly silent. 

“Not banishment to another part of Alron 
where you might make an effort to regain 
control,” Vaxil proceeded. “I mean banish- 
ment to Vinra, the second planet from the 
sun. It will be to another world altogether 
where you cannot possibly make any attempt 
to strike at us! By the same token you will 
be able to make a stand for yourselves. 
Whether you die or prosper, whether you 
marry and bring forth young to carry on your 
struggle, will be up to you. In the records of 
this world at least you will be known as the 

“But Vinra is a terrible world!” Iana cried. 
“Scorched and frozen, not a scrap of water, a 
planet long since abandoned by our space 
expeditions as dead. It’s a graveyard, and 
you know it!” 

“Perhaps,” Vaxil replied coldly. “You are 
such ingenious scientists that you might make 
it habitable — though I do not say how. At 
least, if you die it will be your own fault and 
I shall not have it on my own conscience. It 
is not our intention that you should be hurled 
to this arid, merciless planet without even 
the means to save yourselves. I and the 
Council are in agreement that you be allowed 
six hours consultation among yourselves to 
decide what equipment you wish to take with 
you. Two space cruisers will be placed at 
your disposal, but the controls on both will 
be locked so that you can only land on Vinra 
and nowhere else. When you reach Vinra 
automatic devices will destroy the motors so 
that no I'eturn is possible. One ship will carry ! 


you and your compatriots, and the other the 
essentials you have chosen for your new life. 
Have you, Cal Anrax, anything you wish to 

For some reason he smiled slowly. 

“No, Excellency — except to express my 
thanks for your leniency. As the vanquished, 
we rather expected instant death. All I ask 
is that I be allowed the consultation imme- 

Vaxil rose to his feet and motioned to a 
bronze door leading from the hall. 

“You may retire immediately to the ante- 
room. When you have reached your decision 
press the signal button and you will be re- 
leased. The Council will then consider your 

Cal Anrax nodded and led the way across 
the hall, into the broad expanse of anteroom 
with its long shining table and polished chairs. 
He took up his position at the head of the 
table, Iana on his left hand side, and looked 
down the two rows of faces, the men and 
women whose lives were virtually in his 

“We comprise a new race,” he said seri- 
ously. “On the face of it that sounds a big 
assertion, but it is true. Banishment to an- 
other world means just that, especially when 
that world is known to be dead. When we 
arrive there, union and children will be our 
only means of perpetuating the race. To that, 
however, we will give our attention later. 
For the moment I believe that Vaxil’s lack of 
perception — his belief that we can do nothing 
to avenge ourselves if banished to another 
world — has placed a supreme chance in our 
hands. I take it that we are agreed on one 
thing only — vengeance?” 

The men and women nodded firmly, and 
the look in Iana’s gray eyes was sufficient 
for Cal. 

“Good!” he nodded. “I do not mean the 
impetuous violence of revengeful fanatics, or 
the half-hearted effort of the spiteful — but 
cold, deliberately planned, scientific reprisal! 
Vaxil and his cohorts have got to realize, 
sooner or later, that the science of the West- 
ern Hemisphere cannot be so easily disposed 
of. I suggest, therefore, that in our choice 
of materials for our new planet we take only 
enough provisions for two years and make up 
the remainder of our equipment in machine 
tools. Arms we shall not need since the 
planet is known to be quite dead.” 

“Machine tools?” Iana repeated, mystified. 
“But Cal, we shall need homes, protection 

from the terrible heat and frost. I am of the 
opinion we ought to take twenty-two pre- 
fabricated homes.” 

“No!” Cal shook his head firmly. “We’ll 
find places to shelter, even as our ancestors 
did. Caves if need be. What we need are the 
tools to make tools, machines to mould met- 
als, equipment to gouge out the solid rock, 
instruments to create synthetic clothes and 
food — in fact an assortment of machines to 
build us gradually into a prosperous power 
which, sooner or later, through the very use 
of those machine tools, will give us the 
chance to avenge!” 

“Behind all this, I sense that you have some 
mighty scheme,” Iana said slowly. “None of 
us here is as expert in science as you so may- 
be we cannot see your purpose. I’m prepared 
to trust your judgment — -to the limit. And 
you others?” 

The men and women looked at each other, 
murmured among themselves for a few mo- 
ments. Then the chief physicist stood up. 

“We agree, sir,” he announced. “The ex- 
ample set by the First Lady of the Royal 
House is sufficient for us. You’ll have our 
full collaboration.” 

“Good! Later you will see how right I am. 
Now, here are the machines I suggest we 
take. . . .” 

And thereupon the debate on machine tools 
began — and lasted for a couple of hours until 
a fully detailed list was drawn up. The mat- 
ter of immediate requirements in food and 
weapons was simpler. In four hours they had 
everything decided to their satisfaction and 
Cal Anrax signaled for release. 

Dedication to Vengeance 

S ILENTLY Vaxil and the Council listened 
to the list of requirements, and evidently 
they saw no ulterior purpose behind it. Nor 
had the room been wired for sound so that 
any secrets could have been betrayed. Cal 
knew at least that in Vaxil he had a man 
who rigidly adhered to the laws of statecraft. 

“Very well,” he agreed, when he had fin- 
ished consulting his colleagues. “Your re- 
quirements will be granted, Cal Anrax. The 
second space cruiser will begin loading im- 
mediately with the machines of your choice, 


together with provisions in the first cruiser 
for your own use. You and your colleagues 
will spend the night in captivity as before 
and will prepare to depart at dawn. You, Cal 
Anrax, will be given the opportunity for a 
final checkup on the second cruiser’s con- 
tents before departure is made. It will be for 
you to choose a pilot from amongst your fol- 

Cal nodded. 

“Very well, Excellency. I have assigned 
Ralix, my chief physicist, to that task.” 

Vaxil rose to his feet. 

“The matter is decided. Guard, return the 
prisoners to their rooms.” . . . 

Dawn was just streaking the eastern Mar- 
tian sky when the space cruisers departed. 
Below, in accordance with traditional cere- 
mony, Cal and Iana watched the puffs of 
smoke dispersing from the firing of the twen- 
ty protonic guns in farewell salute. 

Then the busy world of their birth was fall- 
ing away swiftly into the gulf. It became a 
wide landscape, circular, a concave circle, 
and at last a globe. . . . 

“The end of an old chapter and the begin- 
ning of a new,” Cal said quietly, turning back 
to the control board. “Now we are really 
launched on a mighty venture.” 

He closed a switch and the face of Ralix, 
controlling the following cruiser of equip- 
ment, appeared on the screen. 

“Everything in order?” Cal asked briefly. 

“Everything, sir,” .the physicist agreed. 
“I’ll follow out your directions and report 
any trouble the moment it arises.” 

“That will be Vinra itself, I’m afraid,” Cal 
said, smiling wryly. He switched off and gave 
his attention to the board in front of him. 

It was the beginning of a long, tedious 
journey. All of them had made space trips 
before — to Deimos, Phobos, or brief excur- 
sions to highly valuable meteorites — but this 
was the first time they had made a really long 
trip. Formerly such journeys had been the 
lot of tough space explorers. 

If there was fear, none of the men and 
women present showed it. They disposed 
themselves in various parts of the big con- 
trol room, or watched the eternal stars 
through the ports. Iana, for her part, busied 
herself in the section given over to sidereal 
analysis, gathering together what facts she 
could from the pin point of bright light 
towards which they were heading. 

Day and night — they were the same thing 
with the eternal blaze of the sun. Steadily, 

the motors fixed and unalterable, the vessels 
pursued their course at swift cruising speed. 
Cal and Ralix both were relieved at inter- 
vals by robot controls. 

Onwards past the mystery green world, 
third from the sun, which space explorers 
had found to be a planet as yet infinitely 
young, filled with swirling gases, torrential 
rains, and chaotic landscape. A world to be 
— some day. 

Half the journey was covered in tedious 
monotony-three quarters. Then at last the 
blinding white world of their destiny filled 
the entire ebony void ahead of them. There 
was no sign of anything except eye-searing 
whiteness, an arid waterless landscape ex- 
posed to a nakedly near sun. Serried moun- 
tain ranges powdered with snowy dust, mon- 
strous fissures and ravines, endless plains 
wherein clouds of white powder whirled up 
to the zenith in the thinnest of thin atmos- 

“Gravity nearly double that of our own 
world,” Iana said, consulting the instru- 
ments. “Atmospheric density about a quarter 
less than our own. That means extreme thin- 
ness. Very great heat — about two hundred 

“In fact all the things we don’t like.” Cal 
sighed, staring down through his purple gog- 
gles. “This world is going to play the very 
devil with our bodies, but maybe we’ll strug- 
gle through. Here we go.” 

He broke off, as the last stage of the jour- 
ney began. 

T HE tension was nerve racking as they 
had no control over their fall. The crazy, 
tortured landscape rose up towards them 
with seemingly diabolical speed. Then they 
began to feel the power controlling the mo- 
tors lessen somewhat. The noses of both 
machines rose gently preparatory to leveling 
out. Giant rockets in the forefront flared 
red. On the control board screen the face ol 
Ralix appeared, strained and anxious as he 
crouched over his controls. 

Then, sweeping forward in an immense 
arc, the leading machine landed and sent a 
fountain of dust five hundred feet into the air, 
Uncontrollable, it slithered for nearly half a 
mile and halted near a ravine. To the reaf 
the second machine performed the same 
gyrations and finished up at right angles to 

The motors stopped, and from somewhere 
in the power plant came the dull concussion 


of a small explosion. Fumes began to leak 
out into the control room from the engine 

“There goes our central transformer unit,” 
Cal said grimly. “Vaxil was not pretending. 
He has destroyed our chances of return. Ob- 
viously here we are and here we stay.” 

Nobody spoke. The death of the power 
unit seemed trivial compared to the scene 
about them. In every direction was a vast 
desert of sun-blistered sand, cracked by 
gorges, soaked in the withering heat of a 
sun only 63,000,000 miles away. It was a 
planet without the protection of clouds, a 
planet from which the sun had long since 
whipped water and nearly all the atmosphere. 
Vinra — sunblasted for 720 hours and frozen 
for another 720 — without life, without hope. . . 

“It’s — it’s frightening,” Iana whispered at 
last, turning her goggled eyes away from 
the port. 

C AL ANRAX smiled faintly, that look 
of the eagle on his face. 

“Yet it has to be conquered, dearest. And 
it will be!” 

Only by degrees, when Iana and the others 
began to see — as Cal Anrax had seen long 
since — that their domicile on Vinra was per- 
manent, did they make real effort to conquer 
its pitiless conditions. 

The terrible sunshine, the scorching winds 
from the dusty rainless plains, the incessant 
glare which stung the eyes and blistered the 
skin, made outside investigation almost im- 
possible during daylight. Seven hundred and 
twenty hours of it, and a night of almost 
equal duration. — and even worse climatically 
— when the moon rode the sky in pallid 
grandeur and thick hoar frost descended the 
moment the heat of the day had radiated off 
into the vacuum of space. 

Cal Anrax took the only course and, space 
suited and goggled, with the strongest men 
in the party similarly attired to help him, he 
set about the task of building a habitation 
for them all — not on the surface though, for 
two reasons. One was the merciless climate, 
and the other was because the plan he hoped 
ultimately to mature demanded underground 

Long, hard, tedious weeks passed into 
months. Metals were sought and found be- 
low surface, were fashioned in furnaces with 
the machine tools and thereafter used for 
moulding the raw materials into the desired 

For Iana, for each man and woman in the 
group of twenty, there was work to do — and 
they did it with a will because in such work 
lay their one hope of salvation and the defeat 
of the insanity which such a frightful world 
could easily have caused. They made the 
first cruiser their base, and through the 
weary, dragging months of alternate sun and 
frost they created a small underground city 
half a mile below the surface. 

At least they could work uninterrupted. 
There was no sign of life on the dead planet 
Apparently it had died young, its vapors dis- 
sipating rapidly due to its extreme nearness 
to the sun. 

Slowly, surely, with the masterful genius 
of Cal Anrax at the head, the underground 
city grew from its first crude rudiments into 
a worth while expanse, well lighted, and 
with all modern amenities. But it took three 
years of drudging labor to create all the metal 
buildings they needed. Several were set 
aside as machine-tool buildings only. There 
also were well planned streets and syntheti- 
cally created fields of pulverized rock and 
fertilizer, irrigated by synthetic water, fields 
which were already sprouting with the edible 
roots necessary for staple foods. 

A T LAST Cal reached the crowning point ; 

of endeavor. He summoned everybody 
to his own particular domicile for a confer- 

“We have a habitation, half a mile below 
the surface of a devil planet,” he said slowly, 
his fists clenched. “Vaxil thought we would 
die, and well we might have done so but for 
our purpose and energy. But the time has 
come now for vengeance — the vengeance I 
planned long ago when we became outcasts! 
And now it becomes doubly necessary be- 
cause from ultra short wave messages I have 
picked up it is clear that revolution has bro- 
ken out on our home planet and practically 
all our friends in the Western Hemisphere 
have been slain. For that Vaxil and his re- 
maining hordes are going to pay a deadly 
price. I planned it long ago but hesitated over 
putting it into action because it would have 
meant destroying many of our own Western 
people. Now that deterrent is removed. 

“I am going to make this world fertile and 
destroy Vaxil and his followers at the same 
time. That, I consider, is just reprisal. . .” 
“How?” asked Iana quietly. 

“I propose to steal the air and oceans of 
our home world!” 



There were a few gasps and startled 

“But that’s impossible!” protested Ralix. 

“No, my friend; I have it all worked out — 
and here is what we shall do. We shall re- 
quire a tower rearing to a thousand feet, and 
sunk to half that depth in solid bedrock. We 
have unlimited metal and power now, so we 
can do it. Scientifically, we know that grav- 
ity is a force, that it can be heterodyned as 
radio waves can be heterodyned. I propose 
to direct a heterodyning beam across space to 
our home world, which, upon striking it, will 
encompass about a thousand miles of the 

“This beam will be in the center of what I 
might call a funnel of force — or in other 
words walls of vibration solid enough to 
withstand the sudden uprushing vortex of 
water and air. With part of the home planet 
degravitated, and this force funnel right over 
that part, the air and oceans will be sucked 
up the tunnel by following the course of least 
resistance. But for our force funnel they 
would spew sunwards, hence the presence of 
the funnel to hold them in their fixed path 
until they deluge down on the surface of 
this dying world. 

“It means the total destruction of our home 
planet — on the surface anyway. But for two 
reasons it must be done; One, as revenge; 
two, because to expand and grow we must 
live on the surface. We can do this if my 
plan works as I think it will. . .” 

T HERE was a long silence as the assembly 
thought it out. 

“How long is such a mighty project going 
to take?” Iana asked. 

“Two years, maybe. Time is not the factor: 
it is the ultimate result. Place your faith in 
me again and I guarantee that the science 
and direction will be there. We can do it, if 
all of you agree. If you do not we shall rot 
out our fives slowly on this dead world, down 
here. Marriage and children we cannot even 
contemplate until we are sure we have a 
worthwhile heritage to hand on. We can 
have one. That is up to you.” 

Finally Iana made up her mind. She raised 
her hand in assent. Gradually the others fol- 
lowed suit until every hand was raised. Cal 
Anrax looked at them and nodded with satis- 

“I thought I could rely on you. So, now 
to work. Here are the draft plans I’ve worked 


F ROM then on his mighty scheme devel- 
oped. A nearby mountain range was 
selected and a site chosen. Scientific ma- 
chines and implements were transported 
thither. The outcasts worked like ants 
against the glaring heights by day, toiled 
with cold fight globes at night, aided by 
robots, struggling, building, erecting a mighty 
latticed tower of metal supported by cross- 

It took a year to complete it, its supports 
sunk deep into the virgin rock. Then came 
the harder part which Cal Anrax himself 
had to supervise in the laboratories — the as- 
sembly of the heterodyning apparatus, all of 
it fixed in massive gimbals to allow universal 

The actual source of power, to pass through 
the graded lenses of the heterodyners, was 
deep in the underground city, controlled 
much the same as his former automatic de- 
fensive machinery. And this time there 
would be no traitor to foil a mighty endeavor. 

Even when the array of tubes, electromag- 
nets, and anode and cathode globes roped to- 
gether by stout cables was finished, the work 
was not over for Cal Anrax. He had to cal- 
culate to a fraction the positions of Vinra and 
his home world so that no mistake could hap- 
pen over that distance of 73,000,000 miles. It 
was a difficult calculation which needed the 
mathematical machines to check and double 
check. But it was done. 

Two years and four months after he had 
mooted the project he was ready, deep un- 
derground with his followers in the special 
projection-laboratory, the television screens 
connected with the surface already trained 
on the tower and the moonbathed, brazenly 
clear landscape. 

“We’re ready!” Can Anrax breathed heav- 
ily, his eyes moving to the synchro-clock and 
his hands on the master switch. “In five sec- 
onds exactly.” 

The deliberate seconds ticked by. On the 
fifth one the master switch closed. Instantly 
energies, terrific in violence, were released, 
absorbed as they had been through twelve 
months from the blazing sun itself. The 
laboratory quivered in violet flame and 


reeked with ozone. 

Bolt upon bolt of energy slammed into the 
transformer chambers and were hurled 
thence to the complicated apparatus atop the 
giant tower. 

Every eye fixed on the telescreen. And, 
suddenly, a lavender beam poured forth from 
that heterodyner, stabbed like a blinding 
amethyst searchlight into the starry sky and 
became lost in remoteness. The arid plain 
outside hazed with lavender electric inter- 

Six and half minutes to cross the gulf of 
73,000,000 miles. 

The synchroclock sliced onwards as the 
power remained constant, as the din increased, 
to hellish fury. 

What happened on their home world the 
Outcasts could only guess. They could imag- 
ine the tumult, the inconceivable upheaval 
which must have suddenly descended out of 
a clear sky. . . . 

But at last, timed to the second, the visible 
evidence of their labor was there. The heter- 
odyner atop the tower dimmed as the first 
conglomerated mass of air and water from 
the home planet came. 

It spewed out through the center of the 
apparatus — a titanic tumult of ice shards 
which struck the mountain range and re- 
bounded in an avalanche. It became greater, 
mightier, blotting out the screen, the tower, 
even the skies themselves. Even down in 
the underworld the assembly heard the in- 
credible roar of frozen matter thundering 
down on their dead world. 

Cal Anrax cut the power and smiled like 
a ghost. 

“A world has died, and another has been 
born anew,” he said quietly. “With the dawn 
we shall see what has happened. I fancy that 
by now Vaxil knows the cost of trying to 
dominate a planet.” 

The others, even Iana, were silent. The 
terrific power of the science they had just 
witnessed had left them subdued and just a 
little incredulous. . . 

To the dawn was six hundred hours, and 
when it came the Outcasts saw more things 
than a rejuvenated world. Indeed they had 
hardly gone to the surface and looked out 
upon a desert turned green, at a distant in- 
land sea, at dense clouds drifting across the 
sky from the condensed moisture, before 
other matters took their eye. 

Across the sky, just below the clouds, an- 
gry as buzzards, swept massive space war- 

cruisers, bearing the insignia of the home 

C AL and Iana, standing at the sheltered 
top of the underground funnel, half 
way up the mountain side and therefore high 
above the flood waters, watched the fliers 
for a while as they searched ceaselessly. 
Then finally they turned and vanished in the 

“Cal, they guessed,” the girl whispered, 
catching his arm. “They’ve come to look for 
us, to destroy us if they can. They must 
have come while we were below during the 
night. They had ample time.” 

“They’ll never detect us though,” Cal an- 
swered, thoughtful eyes on the sky. “They 
must have a refueling base somewhere near 
at hand. They wouldn’t send just a few 
cruisers. There’ll be a whole fleet I expect, 
if they got away in time. . . A base!” He 
snapped his fingers. “That gives me an idea. 
Come on back below.” 

Iana accompanied him to the main labora- 
tories when they arrived in the city again. 
He went to work immediately with the X-ray 
telescope, probing through the rock barrier 
and clouds in all directions, scanning the void 
above and at the antipode. At last he settled 
the scanner-lens on the moon and operated 
the controls swiftly. 

On the mercury-sunk mirror the hard, 
dead surface of Vinra’s small satellite came 
into view, and upon it — facing Vinra — were 
a mass of minute black oblongs in orderly 

“There they are!” Iana cried excitedly. “A 
whole armada of them!” 

“Yes.” Cal Anrax frowned. “Enough to 
cause the devil of a lot of trouble if they do 
find us. We’ve got this world going now, 
and with clouds and water and vapor it will 
keep going, because we’ll add to it syntheti- 
cally and stop evaporation. It is our heritage 
and we’re going to keep it! One thing is 
pretty sure; those machines there will con- 
tain the cream of the warriors from our home 
world. If they can all be wiped out to a man 
there would remain only a few refugees and 
maybe scientists to master, if we decided to 
rule our own world again as well as this one.” 
“That’s right,” Iana nodded quickly, as he 
stood in thought. “Two worlds instead of 

“And it can be done.” Cal Anrax looked at 
her tensely. “It can be done. Why didn’t I 
think of it sooner? That heterodyner of ours! 


The power can be easily converted by alter- 
ing the rate of vibration. I can change it 
from hetrodyne into pure force — disintegrat- 
ing force!” 

He swung, studying the power gauges. 
“Not much juice left in the power plant but 
it may be just enough. I’m going to risk it. 
No time to consult the others. This is up to 
you and me — so come on.” 

He went hurrying out and along to the 
projection-laboratory, began to calculate 
swiftly with the adding machines. Then he 
started up the power. Iana watched him 
make the power conversion, shift the position 
of the gimbaled projector by impulse vibra- 

Then he closed that deadly master switch. 

The roar of the power was only brief — not 
more than thirty seconds. It had hardly died 
away before its effect became evident. In 
the relay screen linked to the distant tele- 
scope, the moon with its base of warrior ma- 
chines suddenly cracked in four pieces! These 
in turn split with terrific violence, hurling 
their meteoric fragments to the four corners 
of the screen. The change in gravitational 
balance was evident a few seconds later on 
Vinra, too. 

Cal Anrax and the girl clung to the switch- 
board as the laboratory swayed sickeningly 
up and down, as they heard outside the' roar 
of disturbed air and pounding ocean, then 
the lesser sound of feet running down the 
outer passage. 

Ralix and the other scientists burst into the 
room in anxious inquiry. 

Slowly the disturbance abated. Cal stood 
upright again and turned to face them. Qui- 
etly he explained what had happened. 

“I destroyed a moon, and them, before they 
could find and destroy us,” he finished. “It 
would have been them or us for it. Now we 
have another task. While this world settles 
down to its rejuvenation we will travel back 
to the mother world and deal with those who 
remain. Our machines are well equipped 
with weapons now and the motors have been 
reset for just such a moment as this. Ralix, 
make the necessary arrangements. The 
sooner we depart, the better. . 

The physicist nodded, motioned to the oth- 
ers and hurried out. . . . 

B UT for all their high hopes they found 
upon returning to the home world that 
there was a barrier which even the science 
of Cal Anrax could not break down. Indeed 

they suspected at first as they flew over the 
dying, almost water-denuded planet — a few 
hastily gouged canals visible to eke out the 
dwindling supply — as they beheld the shat- 
tered cities and deserted airways — that those 
in the space cruisers had been the last of the 
race, until in one isolated spot they saw a 
queer semitransparent hemisphere partly 
above ground. In fact the spot had at one 
time marked the entrance to extensive min- 
eral mines. 

Believing the composition was glass, and 
in no mood for trifling, Cal drove his leading 
space flyer straight at the dome — but instead 
of going through it he severely damaged the 
forward rocket tubes instead. The whole 
machine rebounded violently and landed on 
the rough ground below. 

“What it it?” Iana demanded, as she and 
the others crowded at the ports and stared 
at the hemisphere intently. 

“Force!” Cal answered laconically. “Some- 
thing I hadn’t reckoned with.” 

He peered through the dome intently. 

“I think I can see men down there,” he 
murmured. “But I can’t do anything about 
it. Take a look.” 

The others moved to his higher elevation 
at the forward port and looked long and 
earnestly. There were men visible, appar- 
ently at a switchboard, or dotted about in 
various parts of what was a kind of control 

“Vaxil must have taken fright after the 
seas and most of the air were snatched 
away,” Cal said. “We’ve seen the hasty 
canals he’s had made — but they didn’t do 
him much good apparently. Then he must 
have used this idea to protect himself and 
his surviving cronies from further wrath to 
come. A force shield isn’t a vast scientific 
problem, anyway, but it is a vast one to break 
it down unless you know the exact electrical 
formula which makes it up.” 

“You mean that we can’t get at them?” 
Iana asked, in obvious disappointment. 
“That we can’t make them surrender this 

“Just that. A journey in vain. Obviously 
Vaxil and his men have closed themselves 
in to be sure of safety.” 

Cal Anrax paused, then smiled as though 
a deeply significant thought had crossed his 

“By doing this they may have saved us 
the trouble of having to deal with them,” he 
added. “Scientific law. We can only tell 


when we make a return visit. For the mo- 
ment we can do nothing but return to Vinra.” 

He was the leader and the decision was 
made, so the others passed no comment. He 
closed the switches and, due to the faulty 
rocket control forward, the machine rose in 
jerks to the limits of the thin atmosphere, 
began a spasmodic climb into the void. 

“Trouble in those forward tubes,” Cal 
said with a worried frown. “The compression 
is faulty.” 

“I’ll take a look at it,” lana volunteered, 
and opened the main firing door. 

Hardly had she done it before a terrific 
explosion, the release of superheated gases, 
belched forth. She never even knew what 

The whole universe went out in blinding 
sparks and a welter of gradually subsiding 
pain. . . . 

Trip Through Space 

B Y SLOW DEGREES Grant Mayson 
returned to consciousness. The details 
of the Council Room drifted in upon him, 
and with it the realization that the others 
had recovered, too, and that the girl lana 
was standing a little apart, smiling at them. 

“You believe now?” Her voice was quiet, 
but anxious. “You have seen what hap- 
pened. I died in the explosion on that space 
cruiser. I remained a mind without a body, 
unconscious in the infinite, until the law of 
chance and your electrical apparatus brought 
me accidentally back into being. The mul- 
tillionth chance. Now you know — know many 
things, indeed. You men of science have 
wondered why Mars, my home world, is 
arid and has canals, why Vinra, or Venus, 
has dense clouds and yet no moon. The an- 
I swer lies in the story I have told you by 
, telepathy — a story which was enacted mil- 
| lions of years ago.” 

“Yes, we believe,” Stephen Balmore said, 
in an awed voice. “It was the most wonder- 
ful thing I have experienced — a tele- 
pathic trip into the dim past, the study of a 
: science so mighty that it staggers the imag- 
ination. You other gentlemen are satisfied, 
} I take it?” 

Grant and the remaining four men nodded 

promptly, then Grant added: 

“I would suggest that one of us records the 
full story for the sound tape immediately so 
that these other members of the Council may 
know the full details. . . For the moment, 
lana, what are your intentions?” 

“I want to go to Venus,” she said seriously. 
“The people on that world are my own, my 
race. You have not the telescopes to probe 
through those clouds, and my knowledge is 
not great enough to show you how to make 
one. But I can show you how to build a 
space flyer.” 

“And would that be something!” Grant 

“What do you think, sir?” he asked of Bal- 
more. “Is Miss lana free to act as she 
chooses, and am I still in favor?” 

The head scientist smiled, “I think that we 
all realize that we are in the presence of 
a Martian scientist from a past time. We 
six are convinced. The others will be when 
they know the story. Yes, Miss lana, you 
are free— on my responsibility.” 

He paused, a troubled look on his face. 
“A problem?” the girl asked quickly. 
“Yes, you might call it that. You are of 
Mars — and later of Venus — that we know. 
Yet you look exactly like any clever, edu- 
cated woman of our own world here. In 
view of the general belief of science — on this 
planet anyway — that life on another world 
cannot be even remotely similar to ours, it 
seems odd that you should resemble us so 

“Yes, perhaps it does seem odd,” the girl 
admitted, reflecting. “I can only assume that 
bipeds evolve fairly similarly on worlds of 
one particular system. An inhabitant of 
Sirius’ system might be really different.” 
“Evolution has been more than kind to 
you, anyway,” Grant murmured, studying 

For a second she seemed to grasp the 
meaning behind his words, interpreted the 
look in his eyes. Then with a little smile 
she turned back to Stephen Balmore. 

“Do you think, doctor, that the Govern- 
ment of this country would grant me the 
facilities to build a space machine?” 

“I don’t see why not. Apart from the 
story which will be specially recorded for 
the President, we are a scientific race, though 
of course we are amateurs compared to you. 
But we believe in scientific progress, and 
for that reason I think a chance to visit 
Venus, and maybe other planets, will be too 


tempting to miss. It would be a large feather 
in America’s cap, too!” 

“I suppose that is saying you have 
enough science to carry it out.” lana smiled. 
“Anyhow, I hope you will use your influence. 
In the meantime, until I get definite news, 
I’ll stay in my same room and work out the 
exact details for a space machine, ready for 
your engineers. For my information I want 
only one repayment — to join my race on Vin- 
ra, a race which must have grown to vast 
size from the original twenty. Some of 
them would have got back to the planet after 
that explosion, I’m sure. In fact I believe it 
only involved me.” 

“I’ll do all I can,” Balmore promised. “And 
you, Grant, had better come with me and 
explain as well. You’ve shown a grasp of 
science rather unique in connection with this 

ALMORE’S guess was right. The Presi- 
dent not only agreed to the construc- 
tion of a space machine, but was eager to 
see the project a success. Easily he swayed 
Congress to his own way of thinking and, 
following his lead, the public made the girl 
a heroine of science to the accompaniment 
of fetes, charity bazaars, and theater appear- 

There was no more struggle necessary in 
order to establish her. She had arrived, was 
proclaimed a genius, placed in the care of 
the Scientific Association, and then given 
carte blanche to exercise her skill for the 
general advancement of the profession, . . . 
And she did. 

Under her personal supervision a space- 
ship began to take shape in Pittsburgh, Grant 
handling the business end under -orders from 

Between times, with the easy generosity 
of great knowledge, the girl handed over to 
the State scientific secrets which to her were 
trifling, but which to America — and the 
world in general if America chose to be gen- 
erous — meant vast improvement in every- 
day life. Special drugs for illnesses, new 
uses for radiant energy, weapons of defense. 
They all had their origin in her brilliant, fer- 
tile mind. 

And the space cruiser grew, made to house 
eight people — herself, Grant Mayson, Ste- 
phen Balmore, and the others who had sub- 
mitted to her telepathic effort. To them, 
willing in the first place to believe, she had 
handed the supreme reward, the realization 


of any true scientist’s dream— travel to an- 
other world. 

The machine was finished early in the fol- 
lowing year. Departure was in two days. 
Their particular work completed, Grant 
Mayson returned with the girl to the apart- 
ment in New York given to her by a grateful 
Government, but unlike other occasions 
Grant delayed leaving her. There was not an- 
others day’s work ahead to impel him home 
to rest. He felt he had the chance to talk 
to her at last, away from other people and 

“Iana,” he said quietly. “I’ve come to 
know you pretty well in these last months. 
For all your knowledge, it hasn’t made you 
cold and impersonal. You’re warm — decent 
— good natured, like a million other girls 
who haven’t got a shred of your ability.” 

“Well, thanks, Grant,” she laughed, hand- 
ing him a drink from the side table but de- 
clining one herself. “For a scientist as good 
as you are that’s quite a speech!” 

“I — I want to ask you something.” Grant 
hesitated and looked at her over his glass. 
“Do you think — ? Iana, I’m in love with 
you!” he finished rather desperately. “I 
have been ever since that day I found you 
in the laboratory. I’m — I’m not a demon- 
strative sort of chap, you know. Scientists 
rarely are. But with you — well, now you 

The girl’s face became serious as she 
studied his lean, earnest features. Tall, un- 
tidy as usual, he stood watching her. 

“I respect that love,” she said at length. 
“I really do, Grant. But there is a barrier 
between us. The barrier of different worlds. 
We’re as apart as the ends of the Universe.” 

“I can’t believe that, Iana. I — ” 

“But it’s true!” Her simple insistence 
quietened him. “I have loved only one man 
with all my heart, longed for the day when 
we could be married. That man, as you will 
have guessed, was Cal Anrax, the scientific 

“But that happened millions of years ago! 
You can’t love him now!” 

“To me it was but yesterday. That is one 
reason why I want to go to Venus, to see 
what his genius made of the race, to see 
the monuments he left behind. I might even 
find a man of my own world who is a 
descendant of Cal. Then — then I believe I 
could be happy.” 

Grant sighed and put down his empty glass. 

“I’m jealous of that fellow,” he confessed. 


“He was a genius, I admit, but he’s only 
a memory. It makes me feel as though that 
memory comes between you and me. And it’s 
tough — especially loving you as much as I 

lana was silent, reflecting. Then she laid 
a hand on his arm. 

“It is too soon to deal with this problem,” 
she said gently. “I must see Vinra first. 
Please leave it at that — for my sake.” 

Grant looked at her, at her lovely face so 
close to his own. A struggle mirrored on 
his gaunt features and passed. 

“Very well, lana. For your sake.” 

EW YORKERS in particular and the 
world in general gave the space flyer a 
terrific send-off. The journey began at ten 
in the morning, and the departure was traced 
by television transmitters, newsreel cameras, 
reporters, and every other conceivable means 
of transferring on-the-spot news to those 
who were not present. 

Then, to the six in the control room — 
except to lana who was accustomed to space 
travel — the wonder of the journey was the 
prime factor. Balmore, scientist ever, spent 
hours checking notes first hand on informa- 
tion he had formerly gathered through 
telescopes. The other experts each absorbed 
the grandeur in his own way. 

Grant felt that he ought to do the same, 
yet for a reason which puzzled him the 
journey was not a thrill. He was conscious, 
somehow, of the rather ridiculous feeling 
that he had done it before somewhere. Per- 
haps through the telepathic dream of lana. 
But then, so had the other scientists, and 
yet they were fascinated now. 

Finally he settled down to a kind of routine 
interest in events, watching Earth shrink and 
Venus expand in all her argent, cloud-girt 
splendor. The girl herself handled the con- 
trolling of the machine, resting at given 
intervals and using the robot pilot to take 

So, finally, the gulf was covered and they 
nosed at last into the density surrounding 
the planet. Anxiety and earnest watchful- 
ness settled on the party as the girl eased 
the machine down through the impenetrable 
vapors. Upon her features was an expression 
of worried interest, the look of a person 
expecting a dream to come true. 

The air screeched outside the thick hull 
and the clouds seemed to go down for miles. 
At last they burst below them, to find them- 

selves no more than a thousand feet above 
ground. Instantly lana leveled the machine 
out, looked below in puzzled wonder. 

There was no sign of civilization, or any- 
thing remotely like it. Only jungle — vast, 
crawling jungle — a smothering, steamy im- 
mensity of trees, vines, dense verdure, im- 
penetrable beyond belief. 

“I don’t understand,” lana whispered, fly- 
ing the machine on in a straight line. “There 
must be some sign!” 

So she declared over and over again, but 
her belief was not realized. They completed 
a circuit of the planet from east to west, and 
then from north to south, without finding 
anything but vegetation or deep azure sea. 

Or, at least, almost without finding any- 

They came more by accident than any- 
thing else upon five eroded stone columns in 
one clear patch of jungle, and here lana 
decided to bring the machine down. 

Through the windows they could see they 
were on what had once been a terrace, but all 
formation of it beyond crumbled tiers and 
cracked colonnades had vanished befoi-e the 
snaking, eroding plant life. 

“Well, lana?” Stephen Balmore asked at 
last, disappointed. 

“I don’t know,” she muttered, getting up 
and rubbing her head in a puzzled manner. 
“Not a trace nor sign of my race, and I just 
can’t imagine why not. I expected a com- 
pletely civilized world, and instead we find 

"We’d better go out and see what there 
is,” Grant suggested. “Come on.” 

Dead Worlds 

C HANGING into tropical attire, they 
armed themselves with protonic guns 
and provisions, then stepped out through the 
airlock into the jungle. Silence, crushing 
heat, eternal vegetation which seemed to 
grow and die even as they moved. There 
was nothing else. No sign of anything that 
lived or breathed. 

For over two hours they searched assidu- 
ously amidst the ruins of the once beauti- 
ful, gigantic structure without finding a sin- 
gle sign, inscription, or clue to help them. 

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At last I ana gave a despondent sigh, and sat 
down on an eroded column. 

“Sheer waste of time!” she confessed. “My 
race has utterly vanished. . . .” 

“Is it possible that they went under- 
ground?” Grant Mayson reflected, frowning. 
“Perhaps the vegetation proved too much 
for them and so they went below?” 

The girl gave him a quick look, then the 
hope born in her eyes faded. 

“It would have taken more than vegeta- 
tion to defeat Cal Anrax,” she said seriously. 
“There must be some other explanation. 
Perhaps we have the wrong place.” 

She got to her feet suddenly, struck by a 

“Of course!” she cried. “They probably 
returned to the home world! Cal said we 
would go back, just before I was killed. 
Perhaps he did that. Maybe they found a 
way through the force globe Vaxil and his 
scientists created.” 

“We can but look,” Grant acknowledged. 
“You agree, sir?” 

“By all means,” Balmore nodded. “Mars 
it is!” 

Happier at the thought that she had per- 
haps found a solution, Iana led' the way back 
to the ship. Within ten minutes they were 
hurtling upwards again over the jungle, 
through the clouds, and out once more into 
the depths of space. 

Most silent of all as the journey got under 
way was Grant. He sat in the small chair 
by the forward port, a look of profound 
preoccupation on his features. 

“What is it, Grant?” the girl asked him 
presently. “Something seems to be worry- 
ing you?” 

“Hardly a worry — a puzzle,” he said, 
glancing up at her. “While I was on Venus, 
on that broken down terrace, I felt that I 
knew exactly where your race went, and 
yet I couldn’t quite place it. Is it possible 
that there were mental presences there af- 
fecting my mind? Trying to tell me some- 

The girl reflected. 

“If that were so, Grant, why didn’t all of 
: us sense it? Myself especially? I certainly 
didn’t notice anything.” 

Grant got to his feet and sighed. 

“Something queer about all this.” He 
rubbed his jaw pensively. “I feel like a man 
grasping at shadows, and yet who really 
knows the answer. Like a man who has 
had amnesia and who finds memory coming 

back to him at the sight of familiar signs 
and places.” 

The group in the control room was silent 
for a moment, puzzled. Then an extraordi- 
nary expression passed over Iana’s face. She 
seemed to come to the very verge of saying 
something, but it died again into moody 
speculation, even unbelief. 

“I suppose that space travel affects every- 
body in a different way,” Balmore said, fish- 
ing for solutions. “It must affect the brain 
strangely. That’s all that’s the matter with 
you, Grant.” 

“I guess so.” Mayson nodded and smiled. 
“Forget it! I’d better nail myself down 
henceforth to helping plot the course.” 

And he did, tirelessly, but Iana noticed 
that there were times when his eyes were 
looking at the cosmicharts unseeingly, when 
his thoughts were obviously millions of miles 
away. . . . 

Mars, deserted, red, sprawling with its 
rusty red deserts, loomed up as a landscape 
after some hundred and thirty hours of 
steady travel. 

It was late in the Martian afternoon when 
they came within a thousand feet of the sur- 
face, the pale sun hanging out of the color- 
less blue sky. 

“If ever a world died, this one did,” Iana 
murmured sadly, piloting the machine on- 
wards steadily across the waste. “Can you 
picture it as a world of oceans, landscape, 
mountains, soft winds and warm sunshine? 
Wiped out, because Vaxil wanted it all for 

“Do you blame Cal Anrax for what he 
did?” Grant asked, his gaze on the endless 
waste of dead sea bottom below. 

“I never did and never shall. Cal did 
right. He knew all our own people had died, 
that only Vaxil and his Easterners were in 
possession of the planet. It was just retri- 
bution. But it looks as though my guess was 
wrong.” The girl sighed. “None of my peo- 
ple came here from Vinra, obviously — unless 
they have domiciled underground.” 

S HE flew the machine steadily onwards 
for over an hour, her eyes fixed on the 
unvarying sameness of the landscape. At 
last she gave a little cry and pointed ahead. 
“There! See that? Like glass?” 

Grant, Balmore, and the scientists peered 
ahead at a shining half moon projecting 
from the red sand. 

“That’s the force shield,” the girl ex- 


plained excitedly. “The one we found." 

“Still there, after all these millions of 
years?” Balmore asked incredulously. “How 
can that be?” 

“Why not? The generating force would 
be derived from the sun, and an energy un- 
der certain conditions can remain fixed for 
millenia. Yes, I’m sure that’s it.” 

Clearly the girl was too eager with dis- 
covery to bother deeply about the scientific 
issues She maneuvered the ship downwards 
in a sweeping curve and they came to rest 
not a quarter of a mile from the dome. 

To clamber outside into the thin, cool air, 
stumble in the loose sand and light gravity 
towards it, was but the work of another 
ten minutes. Then they stood in silence 
peering through what was apparently clear 
glass — a fact disproved when Balmore 
touched it curiously then jerked his hand 
back with numbed fingertips. 

“Force is right!” he breathed. “And look 
at those men down there! Are those your 
people, Iana?” he asked wonderingly. 

A fixed expression had come to the girl’s 
face. She leaned as near the dome as she 
dared, staring down with the others into 
some kind of control room. Below was a 
group of men, oddly attired, standing or sit- 
ting before the switchboards of machines. 
With the passing moments they showed not 
the least trace of motion. They might have 
been carved in stone. 

“Well?” Grant asked finally. “What goes 

“Why is it all such a problem?” the girl 
asked helplessly. “One of those men down 
there is Yaxil — the second from the left 
there. The others are his immediate hench- 
men, members of the very Council which 
sent Cal, and me, and the others away as 
Outcasts. Millions of years have passed, and 
yet these men still stand just as they were 
on the very day Cal and I looked through 
this dome together! Why? I just don’t un- 
derstand it!” 

There was a long, perplexed silence in the 
Martian quietness. Then Grant drew a deep 

“I believe I understand,” he said slowly. 
“Look, Iana, didn’t Cal say that they had 
perhaps signed their own death warrants?” 

“Why yes! He did say something like that.” 

“And he was right!” Grant looked around 
keenly at the interested faces. “These men 
sealed themselves up completely in a globe 
of force — maybe they did the same for their 

whole underground setup with its people — 
to save themselves from further attack or 
disaster from possible repetition of sea and 
air snatching.” 

Grant drew a deep breath. 

“ Completely sealed themselves up, mind 
you!” he repeated. “Now, to refer back to 
one of our own oldest scientific laws on 
Earth, we remember this, and I’m quoting 
now from a statement once made by Sir 
James Jeans in his Mysterious Universe: “To 
achieve thermo-dynamic equilibrium, in 
which no increase in disorganization can oc- 
cur, in which entropy is constant and com- 
plete, we must isolate some region where no 
energy can either enter or leave! Under 
these isolated conditions the energy will be 
bandied back from matter to barrier and 
back again, and the shuffling — the only pos- 
sible limit of energy interchanges — is soon 
complete. . . .’ That’s the quotation, as well 
as I remember it.” 

The girl pondered. 

“You mean they just shut themselves up 
in a living tomb?” 

“I do, yes. Good scientists though they 
were, they were too anxious for their safety 
to consider the deeper issues. They sealed 
themselves inside a globe of energy and in 
a very short time the energy reached its 
maximum number of changes. Entropy was 
complete. They all became fixed as they 
were, incapable of movement, neither dead 
nor alive. They achieved a condition, unwit- 
tingly, which parts of the Universe have al- 
ready achieved — -complete thermodynamical 

“That, of course, is more than possible,” 
Balmore admitted, “though I am not at all 
sure how you arrived at the solution so 

“If we wish to awaken them, doesn’t it 
suggest another scientific law?” 

RANT MAYSON repressed a shudder 
and slowly shook his head. 

“We can never awaken them,” he an- 
swered quietly. “All we can try to do is 
find a way through this energy barrier. Once 
we do that, and thereby produce new atomic 
energies in a state of perfect equilibrium, 
we start entropy going again also. Every- 
thing down here will pass away into dust 
and a new state will begin — the state we will 
have started. It will mean that we have 
introduced a random element. . . 

He paused and turned. 


“After all, Iana, it’s up to you. This is 
your world, not ours.” 

She was silent, gazing down pensively into 
the depths. 

“You’ve guessed right, Grant; I know you 
have,” she said at last. 

“To enter through this dome would do 
no good. Down here there must be a race 
transfixed by the law of absolute entropy, 
the race which followed Vaxil millions of 
years ago and which has been held in scien- 
tific thrall ever since. 

“Let it stay that way — a kind of monument 
to scientific greed— and error! It would bene- 
fit none of us to look below. Everything 
would just disappear, and this world is dead 
anyway. Hollow caverns are of no use to 
anybody. I would not find my own people, 
the race left on Vinra, so of what use is it?” 
She turned away despondently and Grant 
fancied he caught the glint of tears in her 
gray eyes. In three strides he caught up with 
her as they moved back towards the space 

“Your people went somewhere,” he said 
seriously. “They would surely have left 
some kind of record. If we went back to 
Venus we might yet find some trace.” 

She gave him a long, steady look. “You 
really believe that?” 

“I definitely do! In fact, I think that if 
we returned to the same spot on Venus I 
might be able to find the answer myself. I 
am sure I nearly did it last time, though I 
don’t know why. This time might cinch it.” 
Her eyes took on that curious, wondering 
light he had seen once before in the space 
machine when he had told her of his strange 
mental recollections. She gave a quick nod. 
“All right, we can but try it.” 

She hurried her pace toward the vessel in 
sudden eagerness. 

United at Last 

S URE ENOUGH, once the return journey 
to Venus had been accomplished, and 
that solitary clearing with the broken col- 
onnades had been found again, Grant felt 
once more the same curious sensation as 
before steal over him. 

“Makes me feel rather like a water di- 

viner.” He was grinning, as the girl and 
the scientists watched him prowl about slow- 
ly. “I’ve got that ‘I’ve been here before’ 
feeling mighty strong, such as many of us 
experience sometimes. There ought to be 
something here which — ” 

He broke off, made a sudden dive forward 
across the terrace as his eye caught sight of 
a curious bronzed panel forming the front 
facing of one of the terrace tiers. He dropped 
on his knees, fingered it urgently, pressing 
on the ornamentations. 

Abruptly, with a faint click, it shot to one 
side and left a dark, drafty aperture. 

“But — but how did you know?” Balmore 
whispered, dumbfounded. 

“I just did,” Grant replied. “Come on.” 

He flashed his torch beam through the 
opening, pointed to ancient bronze steps 
leading downwards and in another moment 
he had scrambled into the opening and on to 

He helped Iana through after him, and 
the scientists followed eagerly. 

When they had all gained the steps they 
stood looking round a monstrous metal-lined 
inner cavern, all traces of decay and mildew 
kept at bay by the constitution of the metal. 

Dimly, at the limit of the torch beam, a 
floor could be discerned. 

“Some kind of vault,” Iana said, her voice 
echoing. “And smu found it, Grant! I just 
can’t believe it.” 

He began to descend the steps slowly. 
When he reached the bottom he stopped 
abruptly and slowly rubbed his forehead. 

“That weird feeling of having been here 
before,” he whispered. “I never felt it so 
strongly. There’s got to be a reason for it! 
Just a moment. Let me try something out 
to see if it explains it.” 

The other travelers waited in tense inter- 
est as he went forward, his torch beam flash- 
ing about the emptiness until it alighted on 
a massive metal table. On it were two bronze- 
like boxes with highly complicated combina- 
tion locks. 

He stood looking at them, his face drawn 
and pale with vast mental effort. Silently 
the others stole forward and watched him. 
There was not a sound save their tense 
breathing. • 

Then, as though he were alone, Grant 
reached forward rather nervously to the 
first box and began to move the combination 
dial with his fingers. 

Left — right — left again. Until at length it 


clicked under his fingers and the lid sprang 

Within was metal foiling. He stood look- 
ing at it, apparently too dazed to seize hold 
of it. Iana and Balmore could see a mass 
of hieroglyphics — but to Iana they evidently 
meant something for she dashed forward and, 
whipping the foiling up, trained her torch on 

“Grant!” She was suddenly breathless. 
“Can you — read this?” 

He shook his head bemusedly. 

“But I can!” she cried. “It’s in my own 
language.” She bent closer. 

“It’s a record of what happened!” she 
went on urgently, her eyes going down the 
closely written lines. “And Cal wrote it!” 
she finished, studying the signature. 

“What does it say?” Balmore demanded, 
his eyes shining. 

“There’s a lot of it. . . . He describes sev- 
eral important inventions. . . Yes, yes, here 
he pays a tribute to my memory! He is very 
unhappy without me, he says. But — here 
we are! He writes: ‘To continue to live on 
this world of Vinra is impossible. Below, 
the material is too spongy to permit of build- 
ing a complete city, and above we have pro- 
duced a too fruitful landscape! The water and 
air stolen from our home world brought 
with it spores and seeds which have settled 
and grown. Here, with violent sunshine and 
heat for seven hundred twenty hours, 
changed conditions, and extreme humidity 
which prevents any cold during the night, 
amazing growth has taken place. 

“ ‘For all our efforts we are powerless to 
prevent the slow strangulation of our cities 
by plant life. Departure is the only answer. 
I am writing this record prior to our evacua- 
tion and shall place it in a sealed vault 
which I know will be proof against devouring 
vegetation. A second box beside this one 
for the record will contain all the prints for 
the inventions I have named. Some day 
somebody may come here and make use of 
these ideas. We have decided to go to the 
third world. Young and deadly perhaps, but 
tractable and not consumed with avid life. 
I think we may master it — ’ ” 

T HE girl stopped, her eyes wide. 

“Earth!” Stephen Balmore ejaculated. 
“The third world! They went to Earth at 
the finish!” 

“The very world to which chance brought 
me!” Iana looked about her with shining 

eyes. “Oh, now there is so much that I 
understand! So very much! You are of my 
race! I belong to you! Do you not realize 
that it explains away the mystery of how 
life began on your planet? Explains too 
why the other worlds are empty? Grant, do 
you begin to understand, too?” 

“Yes,” he said slowly, “I think I do. We 
have come to the end of the odyssey. The 
complication of space and time has unfolded 
to us in the strangest possible way. And 
yet — why not? Universes go in circles; 
microcosm and macrocosm are in circles; or- 
bits are in circles; life itself, even history, i 
Above all things I realize one amazing fact — 

I am Cal Anrax!” 

“But that’s impossible!” Balmore ejacu- 

“I tell you I must be, doctor!” There was 
sudden ringing authority in Grant’s voice. 
“I dared to think of the possibility for the 
first time when I felt myself drawn irresist- 
ibly towards Iana, when I was so jealous of' 
the long forgotten Cal Anrax because of his i 
scientific knowledge. Then I remembered 
things. Of all people, I alone understood Iana 
and her efforts with a formula! No person 
without some inherited connection could 
have grasped it so readily — ” 

“And there were other things,” Iana hur- 
ried on, catching Grant’s arm. “The wayj 
you kept saying over and over to me that 
you felt as if space were familiar to you, that , 
you were not making the journey for thei 
first time. That was when I too first dared 1 
to hope that you might be an unthinkably 
distant successor to my beloved Cal. But 
I had to be sure first.” 

“There can be no doubt of it now,” Grant 1 
said quietly. “I finished the theory of ther- 
modynamic equilibrium which Cal had in' 
mind for Vaxil and his minions. Only a, 
continuation of ideas through one individual 
mind could have prompted that. And, too, 
I knew, with everything in me, that some- 
where — in a remote past — I had concealed 
records of scientific discoveries. Standing 
in that terrace outside memory came float- 
ing to me — the memory of a secret vault, a 
special slide — seen as though in a dream.” 

“And none but the mind of Cal could have 
understood the combination of the lock,” the 
girl finished. “See this lock for yourself. It 
is in our own symbols, not Earthian. Yet 
you understand them, Grant! Oh, Grant, 
this is more wonderful than I ever dared 
hope! I lost my race, only to find it around 



me on that wonderful world of Earth! I 
lost Cal, too, only to discover that he lives 
on, that his scientific spirit lives again 
through you. Never since my rebirth have 
I been so happy. You are Cal, yes, in a dif- 
ferent fleshly form. And — and yet, not so 
very different, either. You remember I 
once told you how much you reminded me of 

“My science is not quite so good as his 
was.” Grant was smiling now. “Maybe the 
skill became blunted by the interval of time. 
Maybe it was even lost altogether in the 
struggle to master the vagaries of Earth in 
the early days. Maybe — lots of things.” 

“Do you imply from all this that you are 
Cal — reincarnated?” Balmore asked slowly. 

“Certainly I do. So excellent a scientist 
as you must admit that reincarnation is not 
only possible, but logical. It happened in 
Iana’s case that an identical reincarnation 
took place because the self-same atomic 
configuration came into being twice over, 
by sheer chance. 

“In my ease a majority of atoms and elec- 
trons forming the original Cal regathered in 
the normal course of evolution over millions 
of years. I don’t doubt that I have lived 
hundreds of lives in between, all in some 
form or other reminiscent of Cal. 

“In some of those lives I was doubtless a 
scientist and in other perhaps not. But the 
entity of Cal persisted through all the phases 
because he, so far as we are concerned, was 
Idle original pattern. Now I am here again as 
Grant Mayson in Nineteen Sixty-Four, en- 
tirely unaware of my past existence on an- 
other world until I visited that world and the 
telepathie memories started by Iana awak- 
ened me to the truth.” 

“Correct,” Iana said gently, clinging to his 

arm. “So utterly, beautifully correct! I 
Pcnow it, as a woman, as one who loved Cal 
more than anything in life — and I don’t need 
cold science to prove it.” 

“Fate or coincidence has been unusually 
lavish,” Stephen Balmore said reflectively. 

A LTHOUGH Mayson answered Balmore, 
it was Iana on whom he kept his gaze. 
“Perhaps,” Grant said. “Or maybe there 
is a destiny that shapes things after all, that 
the deepest wishes of our heart do mature in 
the end, no matter how many cycles pass 
between. Time, after all, is only an arbitrary 
measurement which is made by mathema- 
ticians so as to enable them to decide what 
happens in space.” 

He broke off, smiling, and caught the girl 
to him. 

“Iana,” he said gently, “I shall not be the 
ruler of the world when we get back to 
Earth— not even of half of it. We shall try 
and colonize this world and Mars, of course, 
and we will have a hand in it. But other- 
wise I’ll just be Grant Mayson, scientist, 
maybe a bit better than most because of 
things I have learned and the secrets you 
have bestowed. But don’t expect greatness. 
You’ll be purely and simply Mrs. Mayson, 
wife of a young physicist.” 

“Legally, yes,” she smiled. “In my imag- 
ination you will always be something in- 
finitely greater than that. Not that I shall 
worry. I shall go back to Earth knowing 
that my own folk are around me, that they 
are of my flesh and blood after all, that the 
secrets I have handed on — and those con- 
tained in this other box here — are only 
treasures to which they are entitled. I am 
no longer a girl of Mars, or Venus, Grant — 
I’m a woman of Earth!” 


PHYSICIST BRUCE JACKLYN discovered it— the place where the 
animal, vegetable and mineral kingdoms all blended into one new 
breathing, thinking form of life. Then years later, four scientists came to 
Brazil to find radium — and hit upon the strange paradise! Their exciting 
adventures and the desperate perils they faced are told in I AM EDEN, 
next issue’s great complete novel by Henry Kuttner. It’s a science fiction 
masterpiece you will long remember — look forward to it ! 


"1 may look like a human being, but l*m not,” said the facfii 



Square Root the little imp from outer space, gets the 
number of some racketeers, and does some fast figuring! 

O F THE egg, little can be said, or much 
can be said, according to the way 
you look at it. For the egg either 
existed or did not exist. 

Doc Ferris got a big kick out of the egg. 
He held it in his fat hand and his laughter 
came out richly. 

“See?” he chortled, “Hold it this way 
and it sorta runs together at the curves, turn 
it sharp and you get a rectangular egg. See? 

Then it disappears. Ho! Good trick, eh?” , 
Bernice was bored and showed no interest ; 
in her father’s sleight-of-hand, which had 
figured in company entertainment as long 
as she could remember. In a way, that was 
all to the good, for she had successfully 
escaped the chilling experiences which many 
little children go through. Never before 
house guests had she been forced to recite 
such cruel nursery rhymes as the ones about 


Jack and Jill, and Humpty Dumpty, and 
four-and-twenty blackbirds undergoing the 
Jap-like torture of being baked in a pie. 

On the other hand, it was pretty much to 
the bad. Being part of her father’s stage- 
setting for prestidigitation, her illusions 
crashed about her at an early age. Now that 
she was grown she didn’t believe in anything. 

Bernice yawned. She sent to her boy- 
friend a veiled command. Hugh Grant 
jumped up like a shot, scraping his chair 
noisily back from the dinner table. He had 
broad shoulders, a sandy complexion and a 
brush hair-cut. His gray eyes were mild. He 
had just been discharged from the Army and 
he was in civilian clothes. 

His eyes were wide on the disappearing 
egg, but Bernice’s signal had reacted auto- 
matically on his brain. Though he didn’t want 
to leave just yet, he was pretty much Ber- 
nice’s slave. 

“Sorry, Pop,” Bernice said, demurely sure 
of herself. “We’ll be running.” 

A few moments later, she was snuggling 
up to Hugh in his car. It was some minutes 
before his mind could struggle back to its 
normally inquisitive channels. 

“Pooh,” she sniffed in answer to his ques- 
tion. “Don’t worry about a silly old egg. Put 
your arm around me.” 

“It was amazing though,” he murmured 
into her hair while the car somehow got 
along with the meager assistance of one 
hand and one eye. 

“Nothing amazing about it, dearie. Dad’s 
full of corny riddles like that. Kiss me.” 
“The car might run into something.” 

“Kiss me anyway,” Bernice said. 

On the way back that night, Bernice sud- 
denly became concerned with Hugh’s future. 

“Hugh, you haven’t found a job yet, have 
you?” she said. “Well, don’t accept any of- 
fers. I think I’m going to be able to swing 
something for you through — a business 
friend of mine.” 

H UGH smiled. He wouldn’t hold his 
breath waiting for Bernice to find him 
a job. She had a remarkable flair for — well, 
for exaggeration. 

He dismissed her remark from his mind. 
Doc Ferris was still up, reading a book on 
magic. He looked old and querulous and 
grumpy, but Hugh wanted to talk to him. 
Bernice kept on throwing out hints for Hugh 
to run along home, but Hugh ignored them. 
Finally Bernice yawned and announced sar- 

castically that she was going to bed so her 
company could depart. She went up the 

Hugh sat nervously on the edge of his 
chair and cleared his throat. 

“About that egg, sir.” 

“Eh?” Ferris fumbled with his glasses. 
“Oh, yes, the egg. What about the egg, 
young man?” 

“That was a mighty good trick, sir.” 

“Just average, my boy. Just average.” 

“Could you do the same trick with the 
same egg, sir?” 

Doc Ferris sat quite still for a moment. He 
was falling asleep. Then he jerked, his lower 
jaw clamping shut. 

“Of course I could do the same trick with 
the same egg or any other egg. But I’m not 
going to. Er, good night, young man.” 

Hugh stood up. He felt desperate. He 
couldn’t get the egg off his mind. And he 
knew the Ferrises had bacon and eggs every 
morning for breakfast — if they could find 
any bacon. 

“You mean it’s just like any other egg? 
Like the ones you’d keep in the refrigerator, 
for instance?” 

Doc Ferris’ head went drowsily up and 
down. Hugh said nothing more. He waited 
until the old man fell asleep. His heart was 
pounding as he tiptoed softly into the hall, 
then went swiftly toward the kitchen. He 
was about to commit a crime. 

He was going to steal an egg. 

In the kitchen, Hugh didn’t find the re- 
markable egg, at first. He found two dozen 
eggs in cartons, none of which showed any 
remarkable characteristics. He turned them 
this way and that. He put them through their 
paces. He did everything but stand on his 
head to make the eggs turn rectangular and 
then disappear. 

He was chagrined. Then he saw another 
egg, one he had failed to take from the re- 

It was right in plain sight, near the frost- 
coated refrigerator coils. It wi.s a beautiful 
egg. A perfect egg. Its shell was translucent. 
Around it danced wend little motes of light. 

Hugh picked it up breathlessly and, not- 
withstanding its proximity to the freezing 
coils, it was warm to the touch. Slowly he 
revolved the egg on its long axis. The egg 

Hugh took the egg back to his apartment, 
never dreaming that some day it might hatch. 

He didn’t tell Doc Ferris he had taken the 



egg. He didn’t tell Doc Ferris that for an 
hour after he found the egg, he had com- 
pletely forgotten himself and had sat there 
in the kitchen playing with the egg, watching 
it turn into a cornered object, then sort of 
sliding away out of sight into a strange com- 
partment of space. 

It would slide away, but Hugh could still 
feel it between his two fingers. 

Then he would turn the egg and it would 
come back. 

After he took the egg to his apartment and 
stowed it away in the refrigerator, he didn’t 
see Bernice for two days. One morning, as- 
toundingly, she called him up. Called up him, 
Hugh Grant! He felt a delicious tingle at the 
sound of her honeyed voice. He was in love 
with Bernice and he knew he always would 
be. He liked her impertinence — because he 
could never be impertinent. He liked her 
boldness and her sneers — because he was not 
bold and never sneered at anything. He liked 
her cynicism — because he was naive. 

Yet if he had not been naive, he would 
have laughed off Doc Ferris’ exhibition with 
the egg. 

“Darling, we’re going to the Club Spanish 
tonight!” Bernice Ferris said. 

“Are we?” he said huskily. 

“Oh, Hugh!” She was excited. “You re- 
member I told you I might be able to open 
up a wonderful business opportunity for 
you? Well, Mr. Morrow is going to be at the 
Club Spanish tonight, and he wants to meet 
you. You can pick me up at nine.” 

He hung up, giddy with the crooning in- 
toxication of her voice, but at the same time 
he was doing mental arithmetic which in- 
volved dollars and cents. His cash reserve c 
couldn’t compete with Bernice’s lack of emo-' 
tion where money was concerned. 

When Bernice came tripping down the 
stairs, he made polite inquiries about her fa- 
ther. Her lively face froze over. 

“Let’s don’t discuss unpleasant subjects, 
Hugh, please.” 


“You know what I mean,” she said crossly. 
“Dad must be in his dotage. He’s been worse 
these last couple of days. Yesterday I caught 
him on the phone ordering fifteen crates of 
Grade-A large-size eggs. Luckily I stopped 

A T THIS, Hugh’s heart sank. He felt his 
first twinge of conscience. Above Ber- 
nice’s protests, he looked for Ferris and 

found him in the kitchen. 

Ferris tried to hide what he was doing. All 
he accomplished was to drop several eggs in 
squashy messes on the checkered floor as he 
was trying to get them out of sight into the 
refrigerator. Papa Ferris looked down at the 
yellow puddles, and sniffled. Two big tears 
ran down his face. He choked up. 

“It’s gone!” he sobbed, “It’s gone!” 

Hugh felt better about his theft of the re- 
markable egg by the time they reached the 
Club Spanish. Bernice saw to that. He 
emerged from the car with an accelerated 
blood-stream and mussed-up hair. He had 
told Bernice he loved her, and she had told 
him she loved him too. 

At the back of his head lurked a nagging 
distrust of her sudden ardor, but for his 
peace of mind he was willing to let it stand. 

Later in the evening, Bernice jumped ex- 
citedly from her chair. 

“Mr. Morrow! Mr. Morrow!” 

A man was just coming into the night club. 
He smiled and made his way toward their 
table. Mr. Morrow was handsome, but not 
offensively so. He was a couple years older 
than Hugh, but the chief difference between 
him and Hugh was the difference between a 
polished and an unpolished shoe. Everything 
about Morrow was in place, and Hugh sus- 
pected that if there were a spot of lint on one 
cuff he would find its mate on the other cuff. 
Yet Morrow was virile, and Hugh decided to 
like him. He shook hands firmly. 

After quite a bit of chit-chat, terminated 
by the arrival of Morrow’s drink, Morrow lost 
his quick smile and fixed dark eyes on Hugh. 

“I told Ber — that is, Miss Ferris, that I’d 
be here this evening and that I’d be glad to 
discuss a business proposition with you,” 
Morrow said. “I understand you were with a 
cavalry outfit before your medical dis- 

“Well, yes. I saw some action in the Libyan 
desert and, later on, I fought in Italy.” 

“Of course. The important thing is that 
you understand horse equipment. Saddles 
and such. Mr. Grant, I’m a business hnan. I 
own a small, fairly profitable saddle and 
harness manufacturing establishment. Or 
rather, it was profitable until I found myself 
without essential materials. I didn’t have a 
Government contract, and hence could get no 
priority. Now I’ve been left high and dry. 
That’s where you can help me. And in ex- 
change, I offer you a partnership.” 

“Wait a minute. You’re going too fast. 


How can I help you?” 

“First, I need an associate who under- 
stands horses and horse equipment. Second, 
you’re a discharged veteran and, as such, 
can go before a War Priority Board and se- 
cure a priority for the four tons of cured 
leather I need to keep me in business. You 
understand now?” 

Hugh was not normally suspicious, but he 
felt doubtful. “That doesn’t sound legal, 

Morrow stood up, his eyes genial. 

“Mr. Grant, I like a forthright person. I 
want you to think it over, though. As for the 
legality of the question, let the WPB decide 
that. You’re setting yourself up in business 
as my partner. As a returned veteran, you 
have a legal right to a priority on essential 
materials. However, I’ll be here most of the 
evening, and if you agree you can look me 

He left, crossed the ballroom and sat down 
: at a table with a couple of men. Hugh 
; frowned. Somehow he didn’t like the looks 
of those men. 

Before the evening was over, however, 
Bernice had talked him into making an ap- 
pointment with Morrow the next day, when 
temporary partnership papers would be 
drawn up. Before she and Hugh could marry, 
she pointed out, they had to have a recog- 
nizable income. She didn’t, somehow, come 
right out and say they would be married. 
Oh, no. But the inference was certainly 
there, and Hugh was walking on a cloud. 

Meantime, back in Hugh’s apartment, there 
was an egg. It was right up against the freez- 
ing coils of the refrigerator, but, since there 
was a current of sub-spatial energy flowing 
into the egg from another place, the egg was 
fairly warm. 

The outward manifestations of the sub- 
spatial energy were the motes of light danc- 
ing around the egg’s translucent shell. 

The creature inside the egg was thinking. 
One thing he thought about a lot was why 
he hadn’t been born yet. He had an idea 
: why. Once before — so his inherited ancestral 
memories told him — one of the fachi, who 
I live in a dimension alien from that of Earth, 

| of course, had accidentally laid an egg in a 
sub-space ether-warp. That fachi had been 
i purged for his thoughtlessness. 

It didn’t matter that the eggs of the 
j “chicken,” a fowl peculiar to the Earth- 
I dimension, sometimes showed through the 
ether- warp and might be mistaken for a heap 

of fachi eggs. The point was that the purged 
fachi should have inspected the heap of 
“chicken” eggs before he made the serious 
mistake of depositing his own egg thereon. 

A long time later, the fachi who had 
hatched from the mis-laid egg showed up, 
explaining he had just been born. 

T O THE fachi who listened, he evolved the 
highly plausible theory that in the Earth- 
dimension it took a longer time to be bom 
than in the place. In the place, therefore, the 
time-stream of childhood flowed swiftly 
while that of older age slowed down. It was 
the opposite in the Earth-dimension, where 
the years of youth seemed to last forever, 
and the years of age passed lamentably fast. 

Notwithstanding his fine contribution to 
scientific learning, the just-born fachi was 
killed too. He had, naturally, been contam- 
inated by human thoughts. 

In view of all this, the fachi in the egg’ 
knew that when he was born, he could never 
go back to the place. 

While he lay thinking these thoughts, 
Hugh Grant entered the apartment, whistling 
gaily. The egg heard him and felt a convul- 
sion of dread. He steeled himself for the or- 
deal, but in the meantime he tried to grab 
hold of Hugh’s mind and beg him to desist. 
But, not having been born yet, the fachi 
could read Hugh’s mind but could not com- 
municate with him. 

The refrigerator door was flung open. Hugh 
picked up the egg, and the egg was — twisted. 

It was no ordinary twist. It was a wrench, 
without knowledge of the multi-dimensions. 
The egg would have screamed with pain if 
he could, as for minute after minute he was 
tortured, parts of him sticking into one di- 
mension and parts into another. But finally 
Hugh put the egg back in the refrigerator 
and went to bed, still whistling. 

Hugh forgot about the egg during the next 
few days. One day he came home and, when 
he didn’t come to the kitchen, but went 
straight to the telephone, the egg expe- 
rienced relief. While Hugh was dialing the 
number, the egg, who felt nothing but friend- 
liness toward Hugh in spite of the way Hugh 
had treated him, sent out some thought- 
tentacles and snooped through Hugh’s mind. 
The egg was dismayed by what he saw. 
“Sucker!” the egg marveled. 

Hugh was talking to Bernice now. “Yes, 
darling, it’s all set. Morrow has the priority 
slip. He’s getting the order out right now. 



Well, the visual red tape, but not too much. 
They routed me to the Separation Center 
first off, and the GI counsellor thought it was 
a good opportunity. He did put in a call to 
Morrow — a formality. After that it was duck 

There was some more conversation. Hugh 
asked Bernice when he could see her. Her 
answer obviously disappointed Hugh. Crest- 
fallen, he said he’d call her next week. 

“Sucker!” the egg thought. 

Three days later, the egg hatched. 

At that particular moment, when the fachi 
was undergoing the exhausting process of 
punching his way out of the stubborn egg- 
shell, Hugh Grant was drawing his converti- 
ble to a stop at the curb in front of a dilapi- 
dated building. Its ground-floor store-front 
sported a sign which read: 


Hugh was discouraged. Added to the fact 
that Bernice had been unable to see him 
since that night at the Club Spanish, was the 
equally disconcerting note in Morrow’s voice 
when he had called Hugh a scant hour ago. 
Morrow had told Hugh he had bad news for 

Hugh had gone to see him. Morrow had 
risen from a scarred, cheap desk and had 
shaken Hugh’s hand. He appeared glum, un- 

“I guess our little business venture has 
fallen through, Mr. Grant,” he said reluc- 
tantly. “So it’s just as well I had you sign 
only temporary partnership papers.” 

“What do you mean?” Hugh snapped. 
“Didn’t the order go through?” 

“Like clockwork. Here, I’ll show you.” 
Morrow took Hugh through a door and into 
a warehouse behind the office where a strong 
smell of tanned leather prevailed. Stacked 
around the walls were piles and piles of 
cured cowhide. 

“We’ve got the leather, Grant,” Morrow 
said. “Four tons of it. See?” 

“Then what’s the trouble?” 

Morrow didn’t look virile any more. He 
seemed to be harried, worried, nervous. 

“I’ve been playing the market, Grant, and 
I was unfortunate enough to pick the wrong 
stocks,” he said simply. “I’m busted. I have 
to liquidate the business in order to break 

Hugh was nettled. 

“It seems to me you’re a flop as a busi- 

ness man. 

Morrow’s dark eyes flashed. He drew him- 
self up. 

“You don’t have to get huffy about it,” he 
answered coldly. “I’m putting it to you 
straight. After all, you ought to be mighty 
glad the partnership papers didn’t have time 
to go through. Then you’d be equally re- 

F OR a moment the two men glared at each 
other. Hugh knew he was being unrea- 
sonable. The real reason for his irritation was 
Bernice’s refusal to see him, his inability to 
understand why. 

“Okay, Morrow,” he said shortly. “We’ll 
let it go at that. Better luck next time.” 
Without shaking hands, he went back into 
the office. Just as he started through the 
door, the two unsavory-looking men who 
had been with Morrow at the Club Spanish 
came in. They had the same sort of baby- 
direct stare that Hugh had seen in movie- 
gangsters. Hugh brushed past them uncivilly, 
got into his car and drove away. 

He spent the rest of the day tracking down 
jobs. One out of every seven returned serv- 
ice men, he knew, were taking advantage of 
the GI Bill of Rights to set themselves up ‘in 
business. But not Hugh Grant. He had de- 
cided he didn’t have a good business head 

Why couldn’t he get a job in some research 
laboratory? He was interested in science. 
That was one reason why he had been so in- 
fernally curious about Doc Ferris’ magic egg. 
Come to think of it, why didn’t he do some 
serious research into the whys and where- 
fores of the egg’s remarkable behavior? Why, 
it might even lead to something big! 

Hugh no sooner got to his apartment and 
opened the refrigerator door than his ruddy 
face blanched. He uttered a strangled sound 
and fell back against the kitchen table. 

Sitting on the edge of a top refrigerator 
grated shelf was a little imp. The imp was 
busily tearing into an orange, meanwhile 
looking at Hugh with bright scarlet eyes. 

Then words seemed to form in Hugh’s 
mind, just as if they were spoken words. 

“Everything’s okay,” said the fachi, who 
had half of his bald head buried in the or- 
ange. “Relax. I just hatched from that egg 
you and Doc Ferris got such- a kick out of — 
and I didn’t. You remember? Doc Ferris — * 
the father of the gal who twists you around 
her little finger.” 


Hugh made another sound, leaned against 
the table. 

“Nope, Hugh, I’m not a human being,” the 
fachi continued. “I may look like one, sort of 
a toy-size human, but I’m not one. I’m a 
fachi. Fachi live in a — well, in a place. If 
you horve the rapsol on miscars, you’ve got 
a pretty good idea where the place is. But if 
you can’t walk a straight pidder from here 
to the bollin without govin doot, then it’s 
no use. I’ll have to fall back on some corny 
explanation like Flatland or the fourth di- 

A whole minute passed while Hugh’s blue 
eyes rested on the fachi ’ s scarlet ones — scar- 
let eyes just a shade lighter than his cherry- 
wood colored skin. 

“Why not put down the orange?” Hugh 
said faintly. “Half of what you’re saying 
doesn’t make sense.” 

“Put down the orange? Good Heavens, 
man, I was just born. I’m starving! Anyway, 
the orange doesn’t interfere with my tele- 
pathic powers, does it?” 

“I can’t walk a straight pidder from here 
to the bollin without govin doot?” Hugh 
said, still clutching the table. 

“That’s what it looks like,” the fachi said 
glumly, at last removing the orange. 

He wiped his tiny hands on his tiny thighs, 
and looked much discouraged. He stood up. 

“I’m plus, now, see?” he said, turned and 
his outlines blurred. “See? I just walked a 
straight pidder.” He turned some more, be- 
came vaguer of outline. “Just now I reached 
the bollin.” He disappeared. “And I didn’t 
govin doot ! So I’m minus.” 

He came back. 


Hugh sat down, mainly because he had to. 

He spoke in a faint voice. “Okay, Square 

“What? What did you call me?” 

“Square Root, The square root of minus 
one is plus or minus one. You’re the Plus 
Or Minus One — hence Square Root.” 

The fachi mulled that over. “Okay. You 
can call me Square Root.” 

“That’s fine, Square Root,” Hugh said 
grimly, and he stood up. There was dark col- 
or under his skin. “Now. What was that you 
said about Bernice Ferris?” 

Square Root blanched a little. 

“Huh? Why — why I just said she was — 
uh — playing you for a sucker. The reason 

Hugh lunged forward and grabbed Square 

Root under the armpits, using a thumb and 
index finger. 

“Now!” he roared. “What was that?” 
“Don’t!” The manikin’s voice was a tiny 
lost scream of terror. He began to sob and 
blubber. He began to kick and wave his 
arms and scream and shed tears. “Don’t! 
Don’t twist me! Don’t twist me! You miss 
the bollin every time. It hurts, Hugh. Oh, 
you don’t know how it hurts!” 

“You slandered her,” Hugh thundered. 
“Somebody you don’t even know. Go on 
back to your own place, wherever that is. 
Get out of my refrigerator!” 

H E PUT Square Root down. Square Root 
continued to weep, in growing horror. 
“I can’t go back,” he whispered. “You 
wouldn’t be cruel enough to send me back, 
Hugh, why can’t I stay here? What have I 
ever done except to get mis-laid?” Blubber- 
ingly, he explained to Hugh why they’d kill 
him if he ever came back. “I’ll do anything 
for you, Hugh, if you let me stay. I’ll even — 
I’ll even prove what I said about that slick- 
chick of yours.” 

“Slick-chick?” Hugh snarled. 

“Slick- chick!” the fachi shouted excitedly. 
“A drum-bum. A skirt-flirt. A kiss-miss. 
A pass-lass. Hugh, when are you going to 
realize that Bernice shoved you into Mor- 
row’s scheme just because she’s in love with 

Hugh closed his eyes. His mind swam sick- 
eningly. With smashing impact, two and two 
began to add themselves. So that was why 
Bernice hadn’t been anxious to see him! 

The fachi sat down again, impertinently 
swinging his legs which looked so much 
like bumpy cherry-tree twigs. 

“Y’see, Hugh, as an egg I used to relieve 
my boredom by reading your mind. When 
Doc Ferris had me, I’d read Bernice’s mind. 
That Bernice! You should have whaled the 
living daylights out of her. Then she would 
have some respect for you. As it is, she just 
hasn’t any respect for anybody, except her- 
self and Morrow, maybe.” 

“I’m going to wring her neck!” Hugh said. 
“Morrow’s some kind of racketeer,” the 
fachi went on. “I don’t know what his game 
is exactly, but it isn’t on the level. He’s pret- 
ty smart. He makes the acquaintance of 
cute kids like Bernice, works the old charm, 
then asks ’em if they’ve got any ex-GI boy- 
friends. Nine times out of ten they have. 
After that, it’s a cinch.” 


“But what does he get out of it?” 

“A-one priority materials.” 

“Then what?” 

The fachi frowned. “I don’t know.” 

“I know!” Hugh said savagely. He whirled. 
“Okay, Square Root, thanks. I’ll be back!” 

“Hey!” The fachi sailed in a long, frantic 
arc from the refrigerator. He caught onto the 
edge of Hugh’s coat pocket. 

“Where are you going?” 

Hugh was in a towering rage. He didn’t 
answer. He left the apartment, and was hard- 
ly aware that Square Root levered himself 
pantingly into Hugh’s side coat-pocket. He 
got into his car and took off with a rush and 
roar that broke the speed limit. 

Patriotism! It was to laugh! While GI’s 
like Hugh were fighting on battlefields and 
getting a bullet in the stomach, people like 
Morrow were thinking up rackets back home. 

Hugh headed at furious speed for Bernice’s 
home. Just as he turned into her street, her 
coupe came bumping out of the driveway, 
picked up speed, turned the comer in the 
other direction. 

Hugh started as Square Root’s thoughts 

“Hah! She’s probably going to meet Mor- 
row, Hugh.” 

“Okay,” Hugh said, grimly. “Then we’ll 
kill two birds with one stone.” 

Bernice led him a troublesome trail, at 
first. But he finally surmised where she was 
bound. As the fachi had suggested, she was 
headed for Morrow’s office on Corkin Boule- 

Hugh parked his car around the corner, 
about a half block from an alley which he 
figured led to the back of Morrow’s ware- 
house. He entered the alley, moving in 
shadow as much as he could. There was a 
big enclosed truck the size of a moving van 
backed up into the warehouse. Hugh moved 
along the side of the moving van, looking 
into the warehouse. Nobody was around. 
Hugh stepped into the warehouse. His jaw 

The truck was half-loaded with leather. 
The piles of leather in the warehouse were 
lower. Some of it had already been trucked 
away to its destination. 

“Careful!” Square Root warned him, ner- 
vously, as Hugh went padfooted to the office 
door at the far end of the warehouse and 
put his ear to the door. “This might be 

But Hugh heard Bernice’s voice, verv ob- 

viously coming around a piece of over- 
chewed gum. 

“I don’t understand,” she protested. “You 
can’t leave town! Not after the way you 
talked about caring for me. Oh, can’t we talk 
alone, without these men in here?” 

Morrow sounded annoyed. 

“Whatever is to be said can be said now. 
Did I make you any promises? No.” 

“You did!” she cried with sudden hysteria. 
She stamped her foot. “You did, you did, 
you did! You said we’d get married as soon 
as your business got on its feet. You can 
fool Hugh by that nonsense of how you’re go- 
ing to liquidate, but you can’t fool me. You’re 
a dirty, mean sneak of a man and I’m going 
to the police and snitch!” 


S UDDENLY she yelped. There was a 

“Got her, boss,” a deep throaty voice said. 
“It’s disgusting. Can’t trust no dame. We 
better knock her out, gag her and scram.” 

At that point, despite Square Root’s pro- 
tests, Hugh yanked on the door and plunged 
into the office. 

There were three men in the office besides 
Morrow. They were in dirty, leather-smell- 
ing work-clothes. One was holding Bernice, 
his stained hand over her purpling face. She 
was kicking and gurgling. 

“Let her go!” Hugh shouted. 

Suddenly he suspected that his heroics 
were out of place. It was the way the men 
were looking at him. It was the way Morrow 
was looking at him, with annoyed frustration 
making dimples at the corners of his clamped 

“Grant,” he said in tired tones. “You make 
it hard for me. You make it plenty hard. 
Why didn’t you stay home?” 

“Because I’m on to your game,” Hugh 
snapped tensely. “You stand to grab about 
one hundred per cent profit on that four tons 
of leather, through the Black Market. That’s 
right, isn’t it?” 

“Hey, that’s good,” Square Root said ex- 
citedly. “Listen. Here’s the rest of it.” His 
rapid thoughts came. 

“And you work the same deal over and 
over again,” Hugh said. “You set up four or 
five ‘businesses,’ get each business listed in 
the telephone book with the same address 
but a different name. It just happened to be 
the Morrow Saddle and Harness Company 
when I came along. This office has outlived 
its usefulness though, so you’re moving to 


another city.” 

The four men looked at each other. 

“That’s too bad,” Morrow answered gently. 
“That’s just- too bad.” 

He gave a signal. Two of the men instantly 
jumped at Hugh. Hugh whirled and, using 
the sides of his hands, executed a blurred se- 
ries of jiu-jitsu jabs. 

He knocked the wind out of one man but 
another thug came up behind him and hit 
him on the back of the neck with a sandbag. 
Hugh fell. Through the roaring emptiness 
in his skull, he could hear Bernice’s protests. 

“You can’t,” she kept crying. “It isn’t 
his fault. Please! Let him go and I’ll talk to 
him. I’ll make him promise never to say a 
word. I can wind him around my little 

Then his senses blanked out. . . . 

Somebody was sitting on Hugh’s forehead 
when he awoke. It was Square Root. Under 
Hugh was a vibration, the smooth jouncing 
rumble of truck wheels. To his nose came the 
suffocating odor of tanned leather. 

Square Root’s face was disconsolate. He 
leaned over and looked down into Hugh’s im- 
mense right eye. 

“You shouldn’t have busted into Morrow’s 
office like that, Hugh,” Square Root com- 
plained. “They’ve got you and Bernice tied 
hand and foot with baling wire. As soon as 
the truck gets to the edge of town, they’re go- 
ing to dump you off into the river. You and 
Bernice know too much. They have to get 
rid of you.” 

Hugh was lying on a stack of smelly leath- 
er. Behind him he could hear Bernice. 

“I want to die!” she whimpered. 

“You will,” Square Root said encourag- 

Bernice screamed as she saw Square Root. 
Square Root took it upon himself to explain 
himself in tedious detail. Hugh cut him 

“Don’t just sit there!” he bawled. “Do 
something. Free us. Get a wire-cutter!” 

Square Root paled. Suddenly he was blub- 
bering with fright. 

“No, Hugh,” he pleaded. “Anything but 
that. Don’t you see, if I get a wire-cutter, 
they’ll see me.” 

Hugh glared. 

“Do you want us to die? What’s so hard 
about getting a wire-cutter?” 

Horror was in the fachi’s scarlet eyes. 

“All right, Hugh,” he groaned, “But if I 
don’t come back, you’ll know I’m dead.” 

Before Hugh’s eyes, Square Root walked a 
straight pidder, reached the bollin, and didn’t 
govin doot. Which is to say, he disappeared. 

Square Root didn’t come back, and didn’t 
come back. Suddenly the truck hit a down- 

“The river’s only two miles from here, 
Hugh,” Bernice whispered. “What are we 
going to do?” 

Hugh scowled at her. “Maybe you should 
have thought of that in the first place.” 
She wept. 

“I thought it was all on the up-and-up. I 
didn’t have any idea he was in the Black 

“I’ll bet!” Hugh snapped, much discour- 
aged. Knowing she was telling the truth, he 
relapsed into silence. Then he felt something 
crawling up his leg, slowly and with diffi- 

“Square Root!” Hugh cried. 

T HE fachi reached Hugh’s chest. He was 
covered with dried green blood. He was 
suffering. He had got into one devil of a 
fight with somebody. 

“The fachi got me,” his telepathed words 
came weakly. “I went back to the place for 
a wire-cutter. My brother fachi saw me and 
naturally tried to kill me. I had to kill some 
of them, using the wire-cutter.” He held up 
a tiny tube with a lens in the end. “This will 
cut wire.” 

“Square Root, you’re a good egg,” Hugh 
said around the lump in his throat. 

The fachi crawled to Hugh’s ankles. There 
was a crackling, a burst of daggered bril- 
liance. Hugh felt the wires around his ankles 
give way. He rolled over and let Square 
Root work on his wrists. As they came free, 
he felt the truck hit the bottom of the hill 
and then slow down as it took the curve to 
the river bridge. 

Hugh came to his- knees in the lurching 
van, then to his feet. His feet were numb 
lumps of bone and flesh. He fought to keep 
erect. He looked around for Square Root. 
The fachi was lying' on the truck bed. He 
had fainted. The “wire-cutter” was still 
gripped tight in his tiny red hand. 

Hugh scooped him up tenderly and wob- 
bled back to where Bernice lay. He pried 
the wire-cutter from Square Root’s fingers. 
He pressed a button on the instrument and 
stifled an exclamation when a shimmering, 
polka- dotted beam leapt out. If that could 
cut wire, it could bum human flesh, too. It 



must be a disintegrator ray. Maybe he could 
get a patent on the gadget. If they got out of 
this alive. 

He used the instrument to free Bernice, 
then thrust Square Root at her. 

“Hold him,” he commanded. 

There was something in his voice so stern 
that she grew meek right away. 

“Yes, Hugh.” 

She took Square Root gingerly. 

Hugh’s face was grim as he worked his 
way through the aisle formed by stacks of 
leather. At the front of the truck was a dirty 
window, through which he found himself 
looking into the driver’s compartment. 

There were three men in the cab. Morrow 
sat next to the window, face set and de- 
termined. Hugh scowled blackly, wrapped 
his handkerchief around his fist and jammed 
it through the window. 

As the glass crashed, the heads of the three 
men jerked around. 

“Grant!” Morrow yelled. 

Hugh pointed the “wire-cutter” at the 

“Pull over to the side of the road!” he 

The driver was dumbfounded. He sud- 
denly cramped the wheel, hard. Hugh reeled 
sharply to one side. He pressed the button 
on the tube. A crackling, radiant beam 
leaped out. Hugh never saw where it hit, but 
he was sure it struck the wheel, for the van 
was abruptly turning over and over and 
Hugh was turning with it. 

Tons of cowhide promptly pinned him 
down, almost suffocating him. He gasped 
chokingly, fought his way free, and plunged 
straight toward a gaping diamond of light. 
The truck doors were warped off their 
hinges. Hugh burst through, found himself 
hip-deep in rank green weeds. The truck 
was lying at a crazy angle. It had trundled 
off into the ditch. 

From the bank there was a scrambling 
sound. Hugh saw Morrow, struggling up the 
bank toward the road. Hugh raised the 
“wire-cutter” and fired. The beam didn’t hit 
Morrow. But it disintegrated the shelving 
earth he was standing on. He yelled despair- 
ingly and came whirling down the slope of 
the ditch. 

Hugh jumped on him, and Morrow turned 
into a keg of dynamiting arms and legs. 
Hugh, incredulously, found himself pinned 
underneath. He saw Morrow’s savagely de- 
termined face against the sky and Morrow’s 

powerful face, come smashing down. 

Hugh got his elbow in the way at the last 
second. His- own fist went jabbing up. It hit 
Morrow’s jaw. Morrow seemed to rise 
straight into the air for a foot or so. He 
looked surprised. Then he rolled off of 
Hugh, trembled with a strange shuddery 
motion and lay still. 

Hugh now went into the truck and found 
Bernice. He advanced on her, his jaw out. 

“Hugh!” she screamed. 

But he grabbed her, laid her across his 
knee, and began to pound. After that, he 
threw her aside and, with great satisfaction, 
lighted a cigarette. He found Square Root 
and dropped him back in his own pocket. He 
walked around the truck and in the driving 
compartment were Morrow’s two pals. They 
were hunched up, unconscious, with bad cuts 
on their heads. The wheel of the car was 
just a shapeless mass of melted metal. 

Well, the three of them would soon be in 
the hands of the FBI. Hugh walked up the 
slope of the ditch to hail a passing car. . . , 

M ANY, many hours later, Hugh escorted 
Bernice ahead of him through the 
door into her home. He shoved her toward 
the stairs. She was discouraged, thoroughly 
chastened, and she was crying. At the top of 
the stairs she turned. 

“Call me soon, Hugh,” she begged him. 
Hugh glared at her and ignored her. He 
went through the house looking for Doc 

Square Root’s gleeful thoughts came to 
Hugh. “You can twist her around your little 
finger now, Hugh,” the imp said. “If you 
think she’s worth it, that is.” 

Hugh sighed heavily. 

“I don’t know,” he muttered. Still, he re- 
flected, maybe she had received the treat- 
ment she needed. 

Hugh found Doc Ferris in the kitchen. The 
kitchen was a mess. Squashed eggs were all 
over the place. Egg crates and paper egg 
cartons were scattered everywhere. In the 
midst of this havoc stood Doc Ferris, grin- 
ning triumphantly. 

“I found it!” he cried. “And I’ve been 
looking for it so long! See? See? Hold it 
this way and it sorta runs together at the 
curves, gets rectangular- — and then disap- 
pears! Ho! Good trick, eh?” 

Square Root’s tragic thoughts reached 
Hugh. “Hugh, this is terrible. One of the 
fachi has mis-laid another egg.” 



Deep in his fourth dimensional lair crouches the hungry 
monster — while only a band of children guards helpless 
adult victims from his grim and insatiable exactions! 

Wrong Uncle 

A LONG time after- 
ward she went 
back to Los Ange- 
les and drove past Grand- 
mother Keaton’s house. It 
hadn’t changed a great 
deal, really, but what had 
seemed an elegant mansion 
to her childish, 1920 eyes 
was now a big ramshackle 
frame structure, gray with 
scaling paint. 

After twenty-five years the — insecurity — ■ 
wasn’t there any more, but there still per- 
sisted a dull, irrational, remembered uneasi- 
ness, an echo of the time Jane Larkin had 
spent in that house when she was nine, a 
thin, big-eyed girl with the Buster Brown 
bangs so fashionable then. 

Looking back, she could remember too 
much and too little. A child’s mind is curi- 
ously different from an adult’s. When Jane 
went into the living room under the green 
glass chandelier, on that June day in 1920, 
she made a dutiful round of the family, kiss- 
ing them all. Grandmother Keaton and 
chilly Aunt Bessie and the four uncles. She 
did not hesitate when she came to the new 
uncle — who was different. 

The other kids watched her with impas- 
sive eyes. They knew. They saw she knew. 
But they said nothing just then. Jane real- 
ized she could not mention the — the trouble 
— either, until they brought it up. That was 
part of the silent etiquette of childhood. But 
the whole house was full of uneasiness. The 
adults merely sensed a trouble, something 

vaguely wrong. The children, Jane saw, 

Afterward they gathered in the back yard, 
under the big date-palm. Jane ostentatiously 
fingered her new necklace and waited. She 
saw the looks the others exchanged — looks 
that said, “Do you think she really noticed?” 
And finally Beatrice, the oldest, suggested 

“We ought to tell her, Bee,” little Charles 

Beatrice kept her eyes from Charles. 

“Tell her what? You’re crazy, Charles.” 

Charles was insistent but vague. 

“You know.” 

“Keep your old secret,” Jane said. “I know 
what it is, anyhow. He’s not my uncle.” 

“See?” Emily crowed. “She did too see it. 
I told you she’d notice.” 

“It’s kind of funny,” Jane said. She knew 
very well that the man in the living room 
wasn’t her uncle and never had been, and 
he was pretending, quite hard — hard enough 
to convince the grown-ups — that he had al- 
ways been here. With the clear, unprejudiced 
eye of immaturity, Jane could see that he 
wasn’t an ordinary grown-up. He was sort 
of — empty. 

“He just came,” Emily said. “About three 
weeks ago.” 

“Three days,” Charles corrected, trying 
to help, but his temporal sense wasn’t de- 
pendent on the calendar. He measured time 
by the yardstick of events, and days weren’t 
standard sized for him. They were longer 
when he was sick or when it rained, and 
far too short when he was riding the merry- 
go-round at Ocean Park or playing games in 
the back yard. 

“It was three weeks,” Beatrice said. 

“Where’d he come from?” Jane asked. 



of 9 great swaying of flowers, of cowled figures — and she was one of them— moving between 
giant blossoms toward the pale and helpless victim 

Jane was aware 


T HERE were secret glances exchanged. 

“I don’t know,” Beatrice said care- 

“He came out of a big round hole that 
kept going around,” Charles said. “It’s like a 
Christmas tree through there, all fiery.” 
“Don’t tell lies,” Emily said. “Did you ever 
truly see that, Charles?” 

“No. Only sort of.” 

“Don’t they notice?” Jane meant the 

“No,” Beatrice told her, and the children 
all looked toward the house and pondered 
the inscrutable ways of grown-ups. “They 
act like he’s always been here. Even Granny. 
Aunt Bessie said he came before I did. Only 
I knew that wasn’t right.” 

“Three weeks,” Charles said, changing his 

“He’s making them all feel sick,” Emily 
said. “Aunt Bessie takes aspirins all the 

Jane considered. On the face of it, the 
situation seemed a little silly. An uncle 
three weeks old? Perhaps the adults were 
merely pretending, as they sometimes did, 
with esoteric adult motives. But somehow 
that didn’t seem quite the answer. Children 
are never deceived very long about such 

Charles, now that the ice was broken and 
Jane no longer an outsider, burst suddenly 
into excited gabble. 

“Tell her, Bee! The real secret — you know.. 
Can I show her the Road of Yellow Bricks? 
Please, Bee? Huh?” 

Then the silence again. Charles was talk- 
; ng too much. Jane knew the Road of Yellow 
Bricks, of course. It ran straight through Oz 
from the Deadly Desert to the Emerald City. 
After a long time Emily nodded. 

“We got to tell her, you know,” she said. 
“Only she might get scared. It’s so dark.” 
“You were scared,” Bobby said. “You 
cried, the first time.” 

“I didn’t. Anyhow it — it’s only make be- 

“Oh, no!” Charles said. “I reached out and 
touched the crown last time.” 

“It isn’t a crown,” Emily said. “It’s him. 

Jane thought of the uncle who wasn’t a 
real uncle — who wasn’t a real person. “Is he 
Ruggedo?” she asked. 

The children understood. 

“Oh, no,” Charles said. “Ruggedo fives in 
the cellar. We give him meat. All red and 

bluggy He likes it! Gobble, gobble!” 

Beatrice looked at Jane. She nodded 
toward the clubhouse, which was a piano- 
box with a genuine secret lock. Then, some- 
how, quite deftly, she shifted the conversa- 
tion onto another subject. A game of cow- 
boys-and-Indians started presently and Bob- 
by, howling terribly, led the rout around 
the house. 

The piano-box smelled pleasantly of acacia 
drifting through the cracks. Beatrice and 
Jane, huddled together in the warm dim- 
ness, heard diminishing Indian-cries in the 
distance. Beatrice looked curiously adult just 

“I’m glad you came, Janie,” she said. “The 
little kids don’t understand at all. It’s pretty 

“Who is he?” 

Beatrice shivered. “I don’t know. I think 
he fives in the cellar.” She hesitated. “You 
have to get to him through the attic, though. 
I’d be awfully scared if the little kids weren’t 
so — so — they don’t seem to mind at all.” 

“But Bee! Who is he?” 

Beatrice turned her head and looked at 
Jane, and it was quite evident then that she 
could not or would not say. There was a bar- 
rier. But because it was important, she tried. 
She mentioned the Wrong Uncle. 

“I think Ruggedo’s the same as him. I 
know he is, really. Charles and Bobby say 
so — and they know. They know better than 
I do. They’re littler. . . . It’s hard to explain, 
but — well, it’s sort of like the Scoodlers. Re- 

The Scoodlers. That unpleasant race that 
dwelt in a cavern on the road to Oz and had 
the convenient ability to detach their heads 
and hurl them at passersby. After a moment 
the parallel became evident. A Scoodler 
could have his head in one place and his 
body in another, but both parts would 
belong to the same Scoodler. 

Of course the phantom uncle had a head 
and a body both. But Jane could under- 
stand vaguely the possibility of his double 
nature, one of him moving deceptively 
through the house, focus of a strange malaise, 
and the other nameless, formless, nesting in 
a cellar and waiting for red meat. . . . 

“Charles knows more than any of us about 
it,” Beatrice said. “He was the one who 
found out we’d have to feed R-Ruggedo. We 
tried different things, but it has to be raw 
meat. And if we stopped — something awful 
would happen. We kids found that out.” 


It was significant that Jane didn’t ask how. 
Children take their equivalent of telepathy 
for granted. 

“They don’t know,” Beatrice added. “We 
can’t tell them.” 

“No,” Jane said, and the two girls looked 
at one another, caught in the terrible, help- 
less problem of immaturity, the knowledge 
that the mores of the adult world are too 
complicated to understand, and that children 
must walk warily. Adults are always right. 
They are an alien race. 

L UCKILY for the other children, they 
had come upon the Enemy in a body. 
One child alone might have had violent 
hysterics. But Charles, who made the first 
discoveries, was only six, still young enough 
so that the process of going insane in that 
particular way wasn’t possible for him. A six- 
year-old is in a congenitally psychotic state; 
it is normal to him. 

“And they’ve been sick ever since he 
came,” Beatrice said. 

Jane had already seen that. A wolf may 
don sheepskin and slide unobserved into a 
flock, but the sheep are apt to become ner- 
vous, though they can not discovver the 
source of their discomfort. 

It was a matter of mood. Even he showed 
the same mood — uneasiness, waiting, sensing 
that something was wrong and not knowing 
what — but with him it was simply a matter 
of camouflage. Jane could tell he didn’t 
want to attract attention by varying from 
the arbitrary norm he had chosen — that of 
the human form. f 

Jane accepted it. The uncle who was — 
empty — the one in the cellar called Rug- 
gedo, who had to be fed regularly on raw 
meat, so that Something wouldn’t happen. . . 

A masquerader, from somewhere. He had 
power, and he had limitations. The obvious 
evidences of his power were accepted with- 
out question. Children are realists. It was not 
incredible to them, for this hungry, inhuman 
stranger to appear among them — for here he 

He came from somewhere. Out of time, or 
space, or an inconceivable place. He never 
had any human feelings; the children sensed 
that easily. He pretended very cleverly to 
be human, and he could warp the adult 
minds to implant artificial memories of his 
existence. The adults thought they remem- 
bered him. An adult will recognize a mirage; 
a child will be deceived. But conversely, an 

intellectual mirage will deceive an adult, not 
a child. 

Ruggedo’s power couldn’t warp their 
minds, for those minds were neither quite 
human nor quite sane, from the adult stand- 
point. Beatrice, who was oldest, was afraid. 
She had the beginnings of empathy and 
imagination. Little Charlie felt mostly excite- 
ment. Bobbie, the smallest, had already be- 
gun to be bored. . . . 

Perhaps later Beatrice remembered a lit- 
tle of what Ruggedo looked like, but the 
others never did. For they reached him by 
a very strange road, and perhaps they were 
somewhat altered themselves during the time 
they were with him. He accepted or rejected 
food; that was all. Upstairs, the body of the 
Scoodler pretended to be human, while the 
Scoodler’s head lay in that little, horrible nest 
he had made by warping space, so he was 
invisible and intangible to anyone who didn’t 
know how to find the Road of Yellow Bricks. 

What was he? Without standards of com- 
parison — and there are none, in this world — 
he cannot be named. The children thought 
of him as Ruggedo. But he was not the fat, 
half-comic, inevitably frustrate Gnome King. 
He was never that. 

Call him demon. 

As a name-symbol, it implies too much 
and not enough. But it will have to do. By 
the standard of maturity he was monster, 
alien, super-being. But because of what he 
did, and what he wanted — call him demon. 

Raw, Red Meat 

NE AFTERNOON, a few days later, 
Beatrice hunted up Jane. “How much 
money have you got, Janie?” she asked. 

“Four dollars and thirty-five cents,” Jane 
said, after investigation. “Dad gave me five 
dollars at the station. I bought some popcorn 
and — well — different things.” 

“Gee, I’m glad you came when you did.” 
Beatrice blew out a long breath. Tacitly it 
was agreed that the prevalent socialism of 
childhood clubs would apply in this more 
urgent clubbing together of interests. Jane’s 
small hoard was available not for any indi- 
vidual among them, but for the good of the 
group. “We were running out of money,” 
Beatrice said. “Granny caught us taking meat 


out of the icebox and we don’t dare any- 
more. But we can get a lot with your 

Neither of them thought of the inevitable 
time when that fund would be exhausted. 
Four dollars and thirty-five cents seemed 
fabulous, in that era. And they needn’t buy 
expensive meat, so long as it was raw and 

They walked together down the acacia- 
shaded street with its occasional leaning 
palms and drooping pepper-trees. They 
bought two pounds of hamburger and im- 
providently squandered twenty cents on 

When they got back to the house, Sunday 
lethargy had set in. Uncles Simon and James 
had gone out for cigars, and Uncles Lew 
and Bert were reading the papers, while 
Aunt Bessie crocheted. Grandmother Keaton 
read Young’s Magazine, diligently seeking 
spicy passages. The two girls paused behind 
the beaded portieres, looking in. 

“Come on, kids,” Lew said in his deep, 
resonant voice. “Seen the funnies yet? 
Mutt and Jeff are good. And Spark Plug — ” 

“Mr. Gibson is good enough for me,” 
Grandmother Keaton said. “He’s a real artist. 
His people look like people.” 

The door banged open and Uncle James 
appeared, fat, grinning, obviously happy 
from several beers. Uncle Simon paced him 
like a personified conscience. 

“At any rate, it’s quiet,” he said, turning 
a sour glance on Jane and Beatrice. “The 
children make such a rumpus sometimes 
I can’t hear myself think.” 

“Granny,” Beatrice asked. “Where are 
the kids?” 

“In the kitchen, I think, dear. They 
wanted some water for something.” 

“Thanks.” The two girls went out, leaving 
the room filled with a growing atmosphere 
of sub-threshold discomfort. The sheep were 
sensing the wolf among them, but the sheep- 
skin disguise was sufficient. They did not 
know. . . . 

The kids were in the kitchen, busily paint- 
ing one section of the comics with brushes 
and water. When you did that, pictures 
emerged. One page of the newspaper had 
been chemically treated so that moisture 
would bring out the various colors, dull 
pastels, but singularly glamorous, in a class 
with the Japanese flowers that would bloom 
in water, and the Chinese paper-shelled 
almonds that held tiny prizes. 

From behind her, Beatrice deftly produced 
the butcher’s package. 

“Two pounds,” she said. “Janie had some 
money, and Merton’s was open this after- 
noon. I thought we’d better. . . .” 

Emily kept on painting diligently. Charles 
jumped up. 

“Are we going up now, huh?” 

Jane was uneasy. “I don’t know if I’d 
better come along. I — ” 

“I don’t want to either,” Bobby said, but 
that was treason. Charles said Bobby was 

“I’m not. It just isn’t any fun. I want to 
play something else.” 

“Emily,” Beatrice said softly. “You don’t 
have to go this time.” 

“Yes I do.” Emily looked up at last, from 
her painting. “I’m not scared.” 

“I want to see the lights,” Charles said. 
Beatrice whirled on him. 

“You tell such lies, Charles! There aren’t 
any lights.” 

“There are so. Sometimes, anyhow.” 
“There aren’t.” 

“There are so. You’re too dumb to see 
them. Let’s go and feed him.” 

It was understood that Beatrice took com- 
mand now. She was the oldest. She was also, 
Jane sensed, more afraid than the others, 
even Emily. 

They went upstairs, Beatrice carrying the 
parcel of meat. She had already cut the 
string. In the upper hall they grouped be- 
fore a door. 

“This is the way, Janie,” Charles said 
rather proudly. “We gotta go up to the attic. 
There’s a swing-down ladder in the bathroom 
ceiling. We have to climb up on the tub to 

“My dress,” Jane said doubtfully. 

“You won’t get dirty. Come on.” 

Charles wanted to be first, but he was too 
short. Beatrice climbed to the rim of the 
tub and tugged at a ring in the ceiling. 
The trap-door creaked and the stairs de- 
scended slowly, with a certain majesty, be- 
side the tub. It wasn’t dark up there. Light 
came vaguely through the attic windows. 

“Come on, Janie,” Beatrice said, with a 
queer breathlessness, and they all scrambled 
up somehow, by dint of violent acrobatics. 

T HE attic was warm, quiet and dusty. 

Planks were laid across the beams. Car- 
tons and trunks were here and there. 
Beatrice was already walking along one of 


the beams. Jane watched her. 

Beatrice didn’t look back; she didn’t say 
anything. Once her hand groped out behind 
her; Charles, who was nearest, took it. Then 
Beatrice reached a plank laid across to an- 
other rafter. She crossed it. She went on — 
stopped — and came back, with Charles. 

“You weren’t doing it right,” Charles said 
disappointedly. “You were thinking of the 
wrong thing.” 

Beatrice’s face looked oddly white in the 
golden, faint light. 

Jane met her cousin’s eyes. “Bee — ” 
“You have to think of something else,” 
Beatrice said quickly. “It’s all right. Come 

Charles at her heels, she started again 
across the plank. Charles was saying some- 
thing, in a rhythmic, mechanical monotone: 

“One, two, buckle my shoe, 

Three, four, knock at the door, 

Five, six, pick up sticks — ” 

Beatrice disappeared. 

“Seven, eight, lay them — ” 

Charles disappeared. 

Bobby, his shoulders expressing rebelli- 
ousness, followed. And vanished. 

Emily made a small sound. 

“Oh — Emily!” Jane said. 

But her youngest cousin only said, “I don’t 
want to go down there, Janie!” 

“You don’t have to.” 

“Yes, I do,” Emily said. “I’ll tell you what. 
I won’t be afraid if you come right after 
me. I always think there’s something coming 
up behind me to grab — but if you promise to 
come right after, it’ll be all right.” 

“I promise,” Jane said. 

Reassured, Emily walked across the bridge. 
Jane was watching closely this time. Yet 
she did not see Emily disappear. She was 
suddenly — gone. Jane stepped forward, and 
stopped as a sound came from downstairs. 

“Jane!” Aunt Bessie’s voice. “Jane!” It 
was louder and more peremptory now. “Jane, 
where are you? Come here to me!” 

Jane stood motionless, looking across the 
plank bridge. It was quite empty, and there 
was no trace of Emily or the other children. 
The attic was suddenly full of invisible 
menace. Yet she would have gone on, be- 
cause of her promise, if — 


. 51 

Jane reluctantly descended and followed 
the summons to Aunt Bessie’s bedroom. 
That prim-mouthed woman was pinning 
fabric and moving her lips impatiently. 

“Where on earth have you been, Jane? 
I’ve been calling and calling.” 

“We were playing,” Jane said. “Did you 
want me, Aunt Bessie?” 

“I should say I did,” Aunt Bessie said. 
“This collar I’ve been crocheting. It’s for a 
dress for you. Come here and let me try it 
on. How you grow, child!” 

And after that there was an eternity of 
pinning and wriggling, while Jane kept 
thinking of Emily, alone and afraid some- 
where in the attic. She began to hate Aunt 
Bessie. Yet the thought of rebellion or escape 
never crossed her mind. The adults were 
absolute monarchs. As far as relative values 
went, trying on the collar was more im- 
portant, at this moment, than anything else 
in the world. At least, to the adults who 
administered the world. 

While Emily, alone and afraid on the 

bridge that led to — elsewhere. . . . 


The uncles were playing poker. Aunt 
Gertrude, the vaudeville actress, had un- 
expectedly arrived for a few days and was 
talking with Grandmother Keaton and Aunt 
Bessie in the living room. Aunt Gertrude was 
small and pretty, very charming, with a 
bisque delicacy and a gusto for life that 
filled Jane with admiration. But she was 
subdued now. 

“This place gives me the creeps,” she said, 
making a dart with her folded fan at Jane’s 
nose. “Hello, funny-face. Why aren’t you 
playing with the other kids?” 

“Oh, I’m tired,” Jane said, wondering about 
Emily. It had been nearly an hour since — 
“At your age I was never tired,” Aunt 
Gertrude said. “Now look at me. Three a 
day and that awful straight man I’ve got — 
Ma, did I tell you — ” The voices pitched 

J ANE watched Aunt Bessie’s skinny 
fingers move monotonously as she 
darted her crochet hook through the silk. 

“This place is a morgue,” Aunt Gertrude 
said suddenly. “What’s wrong with every- 
body? Who’s dead?” 

“It’s the air,” Aunt Bessie said. “Too hot 
the year round.” 

“You play Rochester in winter, Bessie my 
girl, and you’ll be glad of a warm climate. 


It isn’t that, anyway. I feel like — mm-m — 
it’s like being on stage after the curtain’s 
gone up.” 

“It’s your fancy,” her mother said. 

“Ghosts,” Aunt Gertrude said, and was 
silent. Grandmother Keaton looked sharply 
at Jane. 

“Come over here, child,” she said. 

Room was made on the soft, capacious 
lap that had held so many youngsters. 

Jane snuggled against that reassuring 
warmth and tried to let her mind go blank, 
transferring all sense of responsibility to 
Grandmother Keaton. But it wouldn’t work. 
There was something wrong in the house, 
and the heavy waves of it beat out from a 
center very near them. 

The Wrong Uncle. Hunger and the avidity 
to be fed. The nearness of bloody meat 
tantalizing him as he lay hidden in his 
strange, unguessable nest elsewhere — other- 
where — in that strange place where the chil- 
dren had vanished. 

He was down there, slavering for the food; 
he was up here, empty, avid, a vortex of 
hunger very nearby. 

He was double, a double uncle, masked but 
terrifyingly clear. . . . 

Jane closed her eyes and dug her head 
deeper into Grandmother Keaton’s shoulder. 

Aunt Gertrude gossiped in an oddly tense 
voice, as if she sensed wrongness under the 
surface and were frightened subtly. 

“I’m opening at Santa Barbara in a couple 
of days, Ma,” she said. “I — what’s wrong 
with this house, anyhow? I’m as jumpy as 
a cat today! — and I want you all to come 
down and catch the first show. It’s a musical 
comedy. I’ve been promoted.” 

“I’ve seen the ‘Prince of Pilsen’ before,” 
Grandmother Keaton said. 

“Not with me in it. It’s my treat. I’ve 
engaged rooms at the hotel already. The 
kids have to come too. Want to see your 
auntie act, Jane?” 

Jane nodded against her grandmother’s 

“Auntie,” Jane said suddenly. “Did you see 
all the uncles?” 

“Certainly I did.” 

“All of them? Uncle James and Uncle 
Bert and Uncle Simon and Uncle Lew?” 

“The whole kaboodle. Why?” 

“I just wondered.” 

So Aunt Gertrude hadn’t noticed the 
Wrong Uncle either. She wasn’t truly ob- 
servant, Jane thought. 

“I haven’t seen the kids, though. If they 
don’t hurry up, they won’t get any of the 
presents I’ve brought. You’d never guess 
what I have for you, Janie.” 

But Jane scarcely heard even that exciting 
promise. For suddenly the tension in the 
air gave way. The Wrong Uncle who had 
been a vortex of hunger a moment before was 
a vortex of ecstasy now. Somewhere, some- 
how, at last Ruggedo was being fed. Some- 
where, somehow, that other half of the 
double uncle was devouring his bloody 
fare. . . . 

Janie was not in Grandmother Keaton’s 
lap any more. The room was not around 
her. The room was a spinning darkness that 
winked with tiny lights — Christmas tree 
lights, Charles had called them — and there 
was a core of terror in the center of the whirl. 
Here in the vanished room the Wrong Uncle 
was a funnel leading from that unimaginable 
nest where the other half of him dwelt, and 
through the funnel, into the room, poured 
the full ecstatic tide of his satiety. 

Somehow in this instant Jane was very 
near the other children who must stand be- 
side that spinning focus of darkness. She 
could almost sense their presence, almost 
put out her hand to touch theirs. 

Now the darkness shivered and the bright, 
tiny lights drew together, and into her mind 
came a gush of impossible memories. She 
was too near him. And he was careless as 
he fed. He was not guarding his thoughts. 
They poured out, formless as an animal’s, 
filling the dark. Thoughts of red food, and of 
other times and places where that same red 
food had been brought him by other hands. 

It was incredible. The memories were not 
of earth, not of this time or place. He had 
traveled far, Ruggedo. In many guises. He 
remembered now, in a flow of shapeless 
fisions, he remembered tearing through 
furred sides that squirmed away from his 
hunger, remembered the gush of hot sweet 
redness through the fur. 

Not the fur of anything Jane had ever 
imagined before. . . . 

H E REMEMBERED a great court paved 
with shining things, and something in 
bright chains in the center, and rings of 
watching eyes as he entered and neared the 

As he tore his due from its smooth sides, 
the cruel chains clanked around him as he 
fed. . . . 



Jane tried to close her eyes and not watch. 
But it was not with eyes that she watched. 
And she was ashamed and a little sickened 
because she was sharing in that feast, tasting 
the warm red sweetness with Ruggedo in 
memory, feeling the spin of ecstasy through 
her head as it spun through his. 

“Ah — the kids are coming now,” Aunt 
Gertrude was saying from a long way off. 

Jane heard her dimly, and then more 
clearly, and then suddenly Grandmother 
Keaton’s lap was soft beneath her again, 
and she was back in the familiar room. “A 
herd of elephants on the stairs, eh?” Aunt 
Gertrude said. 

They were returning. Jane could hear 
them too now. Really, they were making 
much less noise than usual. They were sub- 
dued until about halfway down the stairs, 
and then there was a sudden outburst of 
clattering and chatter that rang false to 
Jane’s ears. 

The children came in, Beatrice a little 
white, Emily pink and puffy around the 
eyes. Charles was bubbling over with re- 
pressed excitement, but Bobby, the smallest, 
was glum and bored. At sight of Aunt 
Gertrude, the uproar redoubled, though Bea- 
trice exchanged a quick, significant glance 
with Jane. 

T HEN presents and noise, and the uncles 
coming back in; excited discussion of the 
trip to Santa Barbara — a strained cheeriness 
that, somehow, kept dying down into heavy 

None of the adults ever really looked over 
their shoulders, but — the feeling was of bad 
things to come. 

Only the children — not even Aunt Ger- 
trude — were aware of the complete emptiness 
of the Wrong Uncle. The projection of a 
lazy, torpid, semi-mindless entity. Superfi- 
cially he was as convincingly human as if he 
had never focused his hunger here under this 
roof, never let his thoughts whirl through 
the minds of the children, never remembered 
his red, dripping feasts of other times and 

He was very sated now. They could feel 
the torpor pulsing out in slow, drowsy waves 
so that all the grown-ups were yawning and 
wondering why. But even now he was 
empty. Not real. The “nobody-there” feel- 
ing was as acute as ever to all the small, 
keen, perceptive minds that saw him as he 

Sated Eater 

L ATER, at bedtime, only Charles wanted 
to talk about the matter. It seemed to 
Jane that Beatrice had grown up a little since 
the early afternoon. Bobby was reading 
“The Jungle Book,” or pretending to, with 
much pleased admiration of the pictures 
showing Shere Khan, the tiger. Emily had 
turned her face to the wall and was pre- 
tending to be asleep. 

“Aunt Bessie called me,” Jane told her, 
sensing a faint reproach. “I tried as soon as I 
could get away from her. She wanted to try 
that collar thing on me.” 

“Oh.” The apology was accepted. But 
Beatrice still refused to talk. Jane went over 
to Emily’s bed and put her arm around the 
little girl. 

“Mad at me, Emily?” 


“You are, though. I couldn’t help it, I 

“It was all right,” Emily said. “I didn’t 1 

“All bright and shiny,” Charles said 
sleepily. “Like a Christmas tree.” 

Beatrice whirled on him. “Shut up!” she 
cried. “Shut up, Charles! Shut up, shut up, 
shut up!” 

Aunt Bessie put her head into the room, 
“What’s the matter, children?” she asked. 
“Nothing, Auntie,” Beatrice said. “We 

were just playing.” 


Fed, temporarily satiated, it lay torpid in j 
its curious nest. The house was silent, the j 
occupants asleep. Even the Wrong Uncle i 
slept, for Ruggedo was a good mimic. 

The Wrong Uncle was not a phantasm, not 
a mere projection of Ruggedo. As an amoeba 
extends a pseudopod toward food, so Ruggedo 
had extended and created the Wrong Uncle. 
But there the parallel stopped. For the 
Wrong Uncle was not an elastic extension 
that could be withdrawn at will. Rather, he 
— it — was a permanent limb, as a man’s arm 
is. From the brain through the neural sys- 
tem the message goes, and the arm stretches 
out, the fingers constrict — and there is food 
in the hand’s grip. 

But Ruggedo ’s extension was less limited. 



It was not permanently bound by rigid na- 
tural laws of matter. An arm may be painted 
black. And the Wrong Uncle looked and 
acted human, except to clear immature eyes. 

There were rules to be followed, even by 
Ruggedo. The natural laws of a world could 
bind it, to a certain extent. There were 
cycles. The life-span of a moth-caterpillar is 
run by cycles, and before it can spin its 
cocoon and metamorphize, it must eat — eat — 
eat. Not until the time of change has come 
can it evade its current incarnation. Nor 
could Ruggedo change, now, until the end 
of its cycle had come. Then there would 
be another metamorphosis, as there had al- 
ready, in the unthinkable eternity of its 
past, been a million curious mutations. 

But, at present, it was bound by the rules 
of its current cycle. The extension could 
not be withdrawn. And the Wrong Uncle 
was a part of it, and it was a part of the 
Wrong Uncle. 

The Scoodler’s body and the Scoodler’s 

Through the dark house beat the unceasing, 
drowsy waves of satiety — slowly, imper- 
ceptibly quickening toward that nervous 
pulse of avidity that always came after the 
processes of indigestion and digestion had 
been completed. 

Aunt Bessie rolled over and began to 
snore. In another room, the Wrong Uncle, 
without waking, turned on his back and also 

The talent of protective mimicry was well 
developed. . . . 

It was afternoon again, though by only 
half an hour, and the pulse in the house 
had changed subtly in tempo and mood. 

“If we’re going up to Santa Barbara,” 
Grandmother Keaton had said, “I’m going to 
take the children down to the dentist today. 
Their teeth want cleaning, and it’s hard 
enough to get an appointment with Dr. 
Hover for one youngster, not to mention 
four. Jane, your mother wrote me you’d 
been to the dentist a month ago, so you 
needn’t go.” 

After that the trouble hung unspoken over 
the children. But no one mentioned it. Only, 
as Grandmother Keaton herded the kids out 
on the porch, Beatrice waited till last. Jane 
was in the doorway, watching, Beatrice 
reached behind her without looking, fumbled, 
found Jane’s hand, and squeezed it hard. 
That was all. 

But the responsibility had been passed on. 

No words had been needed. Beatrice had 
said plainly that it was Jane’s job now. It was 
her responsibility. 

S HE dared not delay too long. She was 
too vividly aware of the rising tide of 
depression affecting the adults. Ruggedo was 
getting hungry again. 

She watched her cousins till they vanished 
beneath the pepper trees, and the distant 
rumble of the trolley put a period to any 
hope of their return. After that, Jane walked 
to the butcher shop and bought two pounds 
of meat. She drank a soda. Then she came 
back to the house. 

She felt the pulse beating out faster. 

She got a tin pan from the kitchen and 
put the meat on it, and slipped up to the 
bathroom. It was hard to reach the attic 
with her burden and without help, but she 
did it. In the warm stillness beneath the 
roof she stood waiting, half-hoping to hear 
Aunt Bessie call again and relieve her of this 
duty. But no voice came. 

The simple mechanics of what she had to 
do were sufficiently prosaic to keep fear at a 
little distance. Besides, she was scarcely 
nine. And it was not dark in the attic. 

She walked along the rafter, balancing, till 
she came to the plank bridge. She felt its 
resilient vibration underfoot. 

“One, two, buckle my shoe, 

Three, four, knock at the door, 

Five, six, pick up sticks, 

Seven, eight-—” 

She missed the way twice. The third time 
she succeeded. The mind had to be at just the 
right pitch of abstraction. . . . She crossed the 
bridge, and turned, and — 

It was dim, almost dark, in this place. It 
smelled cold and hollow, of the underground. 
Without surprise she knew she was deep 
down, perhaps beneath the house, perhaps 
very far away from it. That was as accept- 
able to her as the rest of the strangeness. 
She felt no surprise. 

Curiously, she seemed to know the way. 
She was going into a tiny enclosure, and yet 
at the same time she wandered for awhile 
through low-roofed, hollow spaces, endless, 
very dim, smelling of cold and moisture. An 
unpleasant place to the mind, and a dan- 
gerous place as well to wander through with 
one’s little pan of meat. 

It found the meat acceptable. 

Looking back later, Jane had no recol- 
lection whatever of it She did not know how 


she had proffered the food, or how it had 
been received, or where in that place of para- 
doxical space and smallness it lay dreaming 
of other worlds and eras. 

She only knew that the darkness spun 
around her again, winking with little lights, 

I as it devoured its food. Memories swirled 
from its mind to hers as if the two minds 
! were of one fabric. She saw more clearly 
! this time. She saw a great winged thing 
1 caged in a glittering pen, and she remem- 
bered as Ruggedo remembered, and leaped 
with Ruggedo’s leap, feeling the wings buffet 
about her and feeling her rending hunger 
rip into the body, and tasting avidly the 
hot, sweet, salty fluid bubbling out. 

It was a mixed memory. Blending with it, 
other victims shifted beneath Ruggedo’s 
grip, the feathery pinions becoming the beat 
of great clawed arms and the writhe of rep- 
tilian litheness. All his victims became one 
in memory as he ate. 

One flash of another memory opened 
briefly toward the last. Jane was aware of a 
great swaying garden of flowers larger than 
herself, and of cowled figures moving silent- 
ly among them, and of a victim with shower- 
ing pale hair lying helpless upon the hp of 
one gigantic flower, held down with chains 
like shining blossoms. And it seemed to Jane 
that she herself went cowled among those 
silent figures, and that he — it — Ruggedo — in 
another guise walked beside her toward the 

It was the first human sacrifice he had 
recalled. Jane would have liked to know 
1 more about that. She had no moral scruples, 
of course. Food was food. But the memory 
flickered smoothly into another picture and 
she never saw the end. She did not really 
need to see it. There was only one end to 
all these memories. Perhaps it was as well 
for her that Ruggedo did not dwell over- 
long on that particular moment of all his 
bloody meals. 

“Seventeen, eighteen, 

Maids in waiting, 

Nineteen, twenty — ” 

She tilted precariously back across the 
| rafters, holding her empty pan. The attic 
; smelled dusty. It helped to take away the 
reek of remembered crimson from her 
mind. . . . 

W HEN the children came back, Bea- 
trice said simply, “Did you?” and 
Jane nodded. The taboo still held. They 

would not discuss the matter more fully ex- j 
cept in case of real need. And the drowsy, j 
torpid beat in the house, the psychic empti- 
ness of the Wrong Uncle, showed plainly that 
the danger had been averted again — for a 
time. . . . 

“Read me about Mowgli, Granny,” Bobby 
said. Grandmother Keaton settled down, 
wiped and adjusted her spectacles, and took 
up Kipling. Presently the other children 
were drawn into the charmed circle. Grand- 
mother spoke of Shere Khan’s downfall — 
of the cattle driven into the deep gulch to 
draw the tiger— and of the earth-shaking 
stampede that smashed the killer into bloody 

“Well,” Grandmother Keaton said, closing 
the book, “That’s the end of Shere Khan. 
He’s dead now.” 

“No he isn’t,” Bobby roused and said 

“Of course he is. Good and dead. The 
cattle killed him.” 

“Only at the end, Granny. If you start 
reading at the beginning again, Shere Khan's 
right there.” 

Bobby, of course, was too young to have 
any conception of death. You were killed 
sometimes in games of cowboys-and-Indians, 
an ending neither regrettable nor fatal. Death 
is an absolute term that needs personal 
experience to be made understandable. 

Uncle Lew smoked his pipe and wrinkled 
the brown skin around his eyes at Uncle 
Bert, who bit his lips and hesitated a long 
time between moves. But Uncle Lew won 
the chess game anyway. Uncle James winked 
at Aunt Gertrude and said he thought he’d 
take a walk, would she like to come along? 
She would. 

After their departure, Aunt Bessie looked 
up, sniffed. 

“You just take a whiff of their breaths 
when they come back, Ma,” she said. “Why 
do you stand for it?” 

But Grandmother Keaton chuckled and 
stroked Bobby’s hair. He had fallen asleep 
on her lap his hands curled into small fists, 
his cheeks faintly flushed. 

Uncle Simon’s gaunt figure stood by the 

He watched through the curtains, and said 
nothing at all. 

“Early to bed,” Aunt Bessie said. “If we’re 
going to Santa Barbara in the morning. 

And that was that. 



End of the Game 

B Y MORNING Bobby was running a 
temperature, and Grandmother Keaton 
refused to risk his life in Santa Barbara. 
This made Bobby very sullen, but solved 
the problem the children had been wonder- 
ing about for many hours. Also, a telephone 
call from Jane’s father said that he was 
arriving that day to pick up his daughter, 
and she had a little brother now. Jane, who 
had no illusions about the stork, was relieved, 
and hoped her mother wouldn’t be sick any 
more now. 

A conclave was held in Bobby’s bedroom 
before breakfast. 

“You know what to do, Bobby,” Beatrice 
said. “Promise you’ll do it?” 

“Promise. Uh-huh.” 

“You can do it today, Janie, before your 
father comes. And you’d better get a lot of 
meat and leave it for Bobby.” 

“I can’t buy any meat without money,” 
Bobby said. Somewhat reluctantly Beatrice 
counted out what was left of Jane’s small 
hoard, and handed it over. Bobby stuffed the 
change under his pillow and pulled at the 
red flannel wound around his neck. 

“It scratches,” he said. “I’m not sick, any- 

“It was those green pears you ate yester- 
- day,” Emily said very meanly. “You thought 
nobody saw you, didn’t you?” 

Charles came in; he had been downstairs. 
He was breathless. 

“Hey, know what happened?” he said. 
“He hurt his foot. Now he can’t go to Santa 
Barbara. I bet he did it on purpose.” 
“Gosh,” Jane said. “How?” 

“He said he twisted it on the stairs. But 
I bet it’s a lie. He just doesn’t want to go.” 
“Maybe he can’t go, — that far,” Beatrice 
said, with a sudden flash of intuition, and 
they spoke no more of the subject. But 
Beatrice, Emily and Charles were all re- 
lieved that the Wrong Uncle was not to go 
to Santa Barbara with them, after all. 

It took two taxis to carry the travelers 
and their luggage. Grandmother Keaton, the 
Wrong Uncle, and Jane stood on the front 
porch and waved. The automobiles clattered 
off, and Jane promptly got some money 

from Bobby -and went to the butcher store, 
returning heavy-laden. 

The Wrong Uncle, leaning on a cane, 
hobbled into the sun-parlor and lay down. 
Grandmother Keaton made a repulsive but 
healthful drink for Bobby, and Jane decided 
not to do what she had to do until after- 
noon. Bobby read “The Jungle Book,” 
stumbling over the hard words, and, for the 
while, the truce held. 

Jane was not to forget that day quickly. 
The smells were sharply distinct; the odor 
of baking bread from the kitchen, the sticky- 
sweet flower scents from outside, the slightly 
dusty, rich-brown aroma exhaled by the sun- 
warmed rugs and furniture. Grandmother 
Keaton went up to her bedroom to cold- 
cream her hands and face, and Jane lounged 
on the threshold, watching. 

It was a charming room, in its comfortable, 
unimaginative way. The curtains were so 
stiffly starched that they billowed out in 
crisp whiteness, and the bureau was cluttered 
with fascinating objects— a pin -cushion 
shaped like a doll, a tiny red china shoe, with 
tinier gray china mice on it, a cameo brooch 
bearing a portrait of Grandmother Keaton as 
a girl. 

And slowly, insistently, the pulse increased, 
felt even here, in this bedroom, where Jane 
felt it was a rather impossible intrusion. 

Directly after lunch the bell rang, and it 
was Jane’s father, come to take her back to 
San Francisco. He was in a hurry to catch 
the train, and there was time only for a 
hurried conversation before the two were 
whisked off in the waiting taxi. But Jane 
had found time to run upstairs and say good- 
by to Bobby— and tell him where the meat 
was hidden. 

“All right, Janie,” Bobby said. “Goodby.” 

She knew she should not have left the 
job to Bobby. A nagging sense of responsi- 
bility haunted her all the way to the rail- 
road station. She was only vaguely aware 
of adult voices saying the train would be 
very late, and of her father suggesting that 
the circus was in town. . . . 

It was a good circus. She almost forgot 
Bobby and the crisis that would be mounting 
so dangerously unless he met it as he had 
promised. Early evening was blue as they 
moved with the crowd out of the tent. And 
then through a rift Jane saw a small, familiar 
figure, and the bottom dropped out of her 
stomach. She knew. 

Mr. Larkin saw Bobby in almost the same 


instant. He called sharply, and a moment 
later the two children were looking at one 
another, Bobby's plump face sullen. 

“Does your grandmother know you’re 
here, Bobby?” Mr. Larkin said. 

“Well, I guess not,” Bobby said. 

“You ought to be paddled, young man. 
Come along, both of you. I’ll have to phone 
her right away. She’ll be worried to death.” 

I N THE drug store, while he telephoned, 
Jane looked at her cousin. She was 
suffering the first pangs of maturity’s burden, 

the knowledge of responsibility misused. 
“Bobby," she said. “Did you?” 

“You leave me alone,” Bobby said with a 
scowl. There was silence. 

Mr. Larkin came back. “Nobody answered. 
I’ve called a taxi. There’ll be just time to 
get Bobby back before our train leaves.” 

In the taxi also there was mostly silence. 
As for what might be happening at the 
house, Jane did not think of that at alL The 
mind has its own automatic protections. 
And in any case, it was too late now. . . . 

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When the taxi drew up the house was 
blazing with orange squares of windows in 
the dusk. There were men on the porch, 
and light glinted on a police officer’s shield. 

“You kids wait here,” Mr. Larkin said un- 
easily. “Don’t get out of the car.” 

The taxi driver shrugged and pulled out a 
folded newspaper as Mr. Larkin hurried 
toward the porch. In the back seat Jane 
spoke to Bobby, her voice very soft. 

“You didn’t,” she whispered. It was not 
even an accusation. 

“I don’t care,” Bobby whispered back. “I 
was tired of that game. I wanted to play 
something else.” He giggled. “I won, any- 
how,” he declared. 

“How? What happened?” 

“The police came, like I knew they would. 
He never thought of that. So I won.” 

“But how?” 

“Well, it was sort of like ‘The Jungle 
Book.’ Shooting tigers, remember? They 
tied a kid to a stake and, when the tiger 
comes — bang! Only the kids were all gone 
to Santa Barbara, and you’d gone too. So I 
used Granny. I didn’t think she’d mind. She 
plays games with us a lot. And anyhow, she 
was the only one left.” 

“But Bobby, a kid doesn’t mean a kid like 
us. It means a baby goat. And anyhow — ” 

“Oh!” Bobby whispered. “Oh — well, any- 
how, I thought Granny would be all right. 
She’s too fat to run fast.” He grinned scorn- 
fully. “He’s dumb,” he said. “He should 
have known the hunters always come when 
you tie a kid out for the tiger. He doesn’t 
know anything. When I told him I’d locked 
Granny in her room and nobody else was 
around, I thought he might guess.” Bobby 
looked crafty. “I was smart. I told him 
through the window. I thought he might 
think about me being a kid. But he didn’t. 
He went right upstairs — fast. He even for- 
got to limp. I guess he was pretty hungry 
by then.” Bobby glanced toward the swarm- 
ing porch. “Prob’ly the police have got him 
now,” he added carelessly. “It was easy as 
pie. I won.” 

Jane’s mind had not followed these fan- 

“Is she dead?” she asked, very softly. 

Bobby looked at her. The word had a 
different meaning for him. It had no mean- 
ing, beyond a phase in a game. And, to his 
knowledge, the tiger had never harmed the 
tethered kid. 

Mr, Larkin was coming back to the taxi 

now, walking very slowly and not very 

Jane could not see his face. . . . 


It was hushed up, of course, as much as 
possible. The children, who knew so much 
more than those who were shielding them, 
were futilely protected from the knowledge 
of what had happened. As futilely as they, 
in their turn, had tried to protect their 
elders. Except for the two oldest girls, they 
didn’t particularly care. The game was over. 
Granny had had to go away on a long, long 
journey, and she would never be back. 

They understood what that meant well 

The Wrong Uncle, on the other hand, had 
had to go away too, they were told, to a big 
hospital where he would be taken care of 
all his life. 

This puzzled them all a little, for it fell 
somewhat outside the limits of their experi- 
ence. Death they understood very imper- 
fectly, but this other thing was completely 
mystifying. They didn’t greatly care, once 
their interest faded, though Bobby for some 
time listened to readings of “The Jungle 
Book” with unusual attention, wondering if 
this time they would take the tiger away 
instead of killing him on the spot. They 
never did, of course. Evidently in real life 
tigers were different. . . . 

For a long time afterward, in nightmares, 
Jane’s perverse imagination dwelt upon 
and relived the things she would not let it 
remember when she was awake. She would 
see Granny’s bedroom as she had seen it last, 
the starched curtains billowing, the sunshine, 
the red china shoe, the doll-pincushion. 
Granny, rubbing cold cream into her 
wrinkled hands and looking up more and 
more nervously from time to time as the 
long, avid waves of hunger pulsed through 
the house from the thing in its dreadful 
hollow place down below. 

It must have been very hungry. The Wrong 
Uncle, pretending to a wrenched ankle down- 
stairs, must have shifted and turned upon 
the couch, that hollow man, empty and blind 
of everything but the need for sustenance, 
the one red food he could not live without. 
The empty automaton in the sunporch and 
the ravenous being in its warp below pulsing 
with one hunger, ravening for one food. . . . 

It had been very wise of Bobby to speak 
through the window when he delivered his 
baited message. 


PSTAIRS in the locked room, Granny 
must have discovered presently that 
she could not get out. Her fat, mottled 
fingers, slippery from cold- creaming, must 
have tugged vainly at the knob. 

Jane dreamed of the sound of those foot- 
steps many times. The tread she had never 
heard was louder and more real to her than 
any which had ever sounded in her ears. 
She knew very surely how they must have 
come bounding up the stairs, thump, thump, 
thump, two steps at a time, so that Granny 
would look up in alarm, knowing it could 
not be the Uncle with his wrenched ankle. 
She would have jumped up then, her heart 
knocking, thinking wildly of burglars. 

It can’t have lasted long. The steps would 
have taken scarcely the length of a heart- 
beat to come down the hall. And by now the 
house would be shaking and pulsing with 
one triumphant roar of hunger almost ap- 
peased. The thumping steps would beat in 
rhythm to it, the long quick strides coming 
with dreadful purposefulness down the hall. 
And then the key clicking in the lock. And 
then — 

Usually then Jane awoke. . . . 

A little boy isn’t responsible. Jane told her- 
self that many times, then and later. She 
didn’t see Bobby again very often, and when 
she did he had forgotten a great deal; new 
experiences had crowded out the old. He got 
a puppy for Christmas, and he started to 
school. When he heard that the Wrong Uncle 
had died in the asylum he had had to think 
hard to remember who they meant, for to the 
' younger children the Wrong Uncle had never 
been a member of the family, only a part in 
a game they had played and won. 

Gradually the nameless distress which had 
once pervaded the household faded and 

ceased. It was strongest, most desperate, in 
the days just after Granny’s death, but 
everyone attributed that to shock. When 
it died away they were sure. 

By sheer accident Bobby’s cold, limited 
logic had been correct. Ruggedo would not 
have been playing fair if he had brought still 
another Wrong Uncle into the game, and 
Bobby had trusted him to observe the rules. 
He did observe them, for they were a law 
he could not break. 

Ruggedo and the Wrong Uncle were parts 
of a whole, indissolubly bound into their 
cycle. Not until the cycle had been suc- 
cessfully completed could the Wrong Uncle 
extension be retracted or the cord broken. 
So, in the end, Ruggedo was helpless. 

In the asylum, the Wrong Uncle slowly 
starved. He would not touch what they 
offered. He knew what he wanted, but they 
would not give him that. The head and the 
body died together, and the house that had 
been Grandmother Keaton’s was peaceful 
once more. 

If Bobby ever remembered, no one knew 
it. He had acted with perfect logic, limited 
only by his experience. If you do something 
sufficiently bad, the policeman will come and 
get you. And he was tired of the game. 
Only his competitive instinct kept him from 
simply quitting it and playing something 

As it was, he wanted to win — and he had 

No adult would have done what Bobby did 
— but a child is of a different species. By 
adult standards, a child is not wholly sane. 
Because of the way his mind worked, then — 
because of what he did, and what he 
wanted — 

Call him demon. 

When a distant space species attacks earth, a man of the future 
allows his brain to be grafted into that of a weird enemy 
creature — in PHALID’S FATE, an amazing complete 
novelet by JACK VANCE coming next issue! 

"Ylleen, swerve westward!” Farrel warned her desperately 



Out in space John Farrel keeps his tryst with Ylleen, 
gorgeous Martian girl whose love means — sudden death! 

J OHN FARREL felt the same chill ap- 
prehension as his officers and men, but 
he couldn’t show it. 

It was a fine thing to be a space-ship 
captain — back on Earth. It was fine to walk 
out of New York Spaceport and have people 
glance with admiration and respect at your 
uniform and silver bars. 

But it wasn’t so good to wear those silver 

bars when you were fifty million miles from 1 
Earth, with your crippled ship drifting into I 
a big meteor-swarm, and your men looking j 
at you in mute, scared appeal. 

Captain Farrel braced his lanky figure and ; 
tried to keep a look of confidence on his dark, I 
tired face as he spoke. 

“The Thetis has been hit bad, men. But 
it’s not hopeless. We’ll still reach Ganymede 


if we can fix up those smashed jets.” 

“Fix them up with what?” demanded Gor- 
ley, the first mate. The big red-headed 
Irishman, always either in the clouds or the 
depths, had dejection all over his battered 
face. “We’ve already used our spare jet- 
tubes and we’ve not enough refractory alloy 
to make more.” 

“We’ve got our lives, all ten of us, and 
enough oxygen for a couple of weeks,” Far- 
rel pointed out. “So we still have a chance.” 

He walked across the turbine-room, in 
which they had gathered after the stray 
meteor tore away the jet-tubes and part of 
the stern. He pointed through a window at 
the star-flecked void ahead. 

“That meteor-swarm we’re drifting to- 
ward — we may find the refractory metals we 
need there. Lots of meteors assay high in 
such metals.” 

A faint hope lighted their faces as they 
gazed. Then Binetti, the thin young navi- 
gator, suddenly yelled and pointed. 

“Look at that!” 

Captain Farrel swung back to the window 
in time to glimpse it. It was a sudden flare of 
light in space ahead of them. 

It burst forth deep inside the vast, loose 
meteor-swarm, but it wasn’t the red-hot glow 
of two ordinary meteors colliding. This was 
a blinding explosion of pure light, gone in an 

Farrel knew instantly what it meant, and 
what it meant to them. But for a moment, 
he couldn’t speak. 

It was Kells, the stocky second mate, who 
cried hoarsely: 

“Good heavens, some of the meteors in 
this swarm are Negative!” 

“Negative?” Gorley stared, then sat down 
and ci’ossed himself. “Then that is that.” 

It was death-sentence, that blipding flash 
ahead. It was death-sentence for any ship 
that ventured amid Negative meteors. 

Some of the crew-men looked stunned, 
bewildered. Kells was still staring from the 
window, his lips moving numbly. Binetti 
cursed softly with Latin fluency and passion. 

F ARREL felt the same impact of cold, ulti- 
mate despair. But he couldn’t surrender 
to it. The bars on his sleeve wouldn’t let him. 

“So because some of this swarm is Nega- 
tive, we just lie down and die?” he rasped. 
“Shall I open the airlock and get it over 

Gorley shook his red head heavily. 

“It’s no use, sir. We could maybe buck 
everything else, but you can’t buck Negative 

The same despair was on all their faces, 
Farrel saw. The despair and dread which all 
space-men felt toward Negative matter. 

It had been so since the first space-ships 
had taken off from Earth, forty years before. 
Had been so, since some of those ships had 
tried to land on Venus and Mars and had 
vanished in flares of energy. 

That was the ghastly way in which men had 
first learned that Venus and Mars were 
Negative. Saturn was too, and Neptune also, 
it was believed. Only Mercury, Earth, Jupi- 
ter and Uranus, and their satellites, were 

Farrel had often thought that the stunning 
discovery should have been forseen. For the 
possibility of Negative matter had been 
realized by scientists since the discovery of 
the positron, back in 1932. 

All matter consisted of atoms which had 
electrons revolving around a central proton. 
In Positive matter, ordinary Earthly matter, 
the proton had a positive charge and the elec- 
trons had negative charges. It had been 
blandly assumed that the matter of the whole 
universe was like that. 

But Anderson’s discovery of the positron in 
1932 had cast first doubts on that assumption. 
For the positron was an electron, but it had 
a positive charge. Then in 1945 the Russian 
scientists, on their mountain- top, had trapped 
strange protons that drifted in from space, 
protons that had a negative charge. 

Negative protons, positive electrons — these 
together formed matter exactly the reverse of 
ordinary earthly matter. They formed Nega- 
tive matter. And when Negative and Positive 
matter came into contact, their opposing 
charges caused them to explode into a burst 
of photons, into pure energy. 

Such an energy-explosion had happened 
when a Positive ship from Earth had first 
tried to land on the Negative world of Mars. 
It was what had happened in the swarm 
ahead when a Positive and Negative meteor 
had touched. It was what would happen to 
the Thetis and all in it, if and when it touched 
a Negative meteor in that devil’s swarm. 

Captain Farrel forced himself to speak 

“Our chances are a lot worse than we 
thought. But they’re not gone entirely.” 

He gestured ahead. “We may drift inside 
that loose swarm for days without touching a 


Negative fragment. We can still escape, if in 
I that time we can find a Positive meteor with 
, the refractory metals we need.” 

Gorley’s mercurial spirits did a rebound. 
“At that, we’ve a chance if our luck holds 
out,” he cried. “We’ll just pray that no 
Negative meteor crosses our path.” 

Kells grinned mirthlessly. “Praying is 
about all we can do, until the Thetis drifts to 
a nice, convenient Positive meteor of metals.” 
Binetti’s black eyes lighted hopefully. 
“Shall I start running the spectroscanner on 
the nearest stuff in that swarm, sir?” 

Farrel breathed less tightly as he saw that 
habit and discipline were regaining their 

“Yes, and meanwhile We’ll get the space- 
suits ready to use,” he suggested. “Kells, 
have the power-crews check their turbines.” 
The Thetis drifted on and on. It didn’t 
seem to be drifting, in the following hours. 
It seemed to be standing still, hanging in the 
middle of the vast and solemn vault of watch- 
ing stars. 

But the radar screen showed they were 
moving into the outer fringes of the vast, 
loose swarm of debris. The swarm itself 
showed to the eye merely as a great, tenuous 
maze of creeping crumbs of light. 

Binetti, sweating at his instruments in the 
nav-room, looked up doubtfully at Farrel. 

“There are indications of Positive meteors 
with the metals we need, sir. But the whole 
swarm is rotten with Negative.” 

Farrel nodded. 

“It would be,” he said. “This debris be- 
tween Mars and Jupiter is all rubbish left 
over from the formation of the planets.” 

The Sun had fathered all the planets, Posi- 
tive and Negative alike. It was believed that 
the Sun consisted largely of neutrons or 
neutral protons, and that these were trans- 
muted gradually into Positive and Negative 
atoms whose mutual destruction yielded the 
energy of the solar orb. 

L ONG ago, in bursts of creation whose 
strange periodicity was still a riddle, the 
Sun had thrown off alternate masses of the 
two different kinds of matter it created. And 
those masses had formed the planets, planets 
forever divided into two opposite kinds of 

Farrel looked back from the nav-room at 
the red spark of Mars and the more distant 
white speck of Venus, almost lost in the Sun 

“Worlds we’ll never be able to visit,” he 
thought. “We’ve done a lot in forty years, 
colonizing Jupiter’s moons and reaching out 
now to Uranus, but we’ll never see those 

Weariness increasingly drugged his brain. 
It seemed to Farrel suddenly that he had 
always been tired like this, since boyhood. 

Toiling night and day to get his technical 
education, working his brain to the limit at 
Space Academy, sweating his way up to a 
Captain’s bars — and all for what? To die here 
now, in this faraway void? 

Farrel had no illusions. Their chances were 
a hundred to one. Ten years ago, he’d have 
thought such a death glorious. But a man of 
thirty couldn’t think like one of twenty. 

Binetti’s cry, an hour later, jerked Farrel 
out of his tired doze. 

“There’s another ship drifting in this 

“Another ship?” echoed Farrel, astounded. 
“Here, give me that scanner — ” 

"It’s just north of us in the swarm,” Binetti 
said excitedly. 

Space-men had divided the equatorial 
plane into four arbitrary quadrants. North, 
east, south, west, zenith and nadir were the 
arbitrary directions of space. Farrel peered 
tautly northward now. 

“By Heaven, there is!” he muttered. “A 
ship drifting near us here in the swarm. No 
jet-flares showing. It must be crippled, like 

Within an hour, the men of the Thetis could 
see the other ship with unaided eyes. It was 
drifting powerless in the vast, rotating swarm 
of meteoric debris, as they were drifting. 

But it looked different from their own 
standard, torpedo-shaped craft. This other 
vessel was oddly foreshortened, glinting in 
the thin starshine like an elongated metal egg. 

“It’s no ordinary Jupiter-run ship,” said 
Gorley in puzzled tones. “Must be one of the 
new experimental ships they’re always trying 

“Their hull looks intact,” Kells remarked. 
“It must have been turbine failure that 
brought them in here.” 

Excited relief soared in Farrel. 

“But their jet-tubes look okay! This is our 
chance! We can surely fix up one of our two 
ships and get away!” 

The other men quickly realized that. Faces 
brightened, taut lips relaxed, light came back 
into their eyes. 

Farrel gave quick orders. “Kells, you and 


I will go across in space-suits and find out if 
anyone’s living on that craft. We’ll have to 
get a line between ships soon, before the 
drift separates us.” 

He and the second mate were soon attired 
in the heavy suits and transparent helmets. 
In the airlock they tested their space-phones, 
oxygenators and hand-rocket impellers, and 
then leaped out into space. 

Pointing their impellers backward, they 
used the little rocket jets to hurl them toward 
that other drifting ship, a quarter-mile away. 

Awesome, floating forward here in the in- 
finite abyss! Farr el had done it before but 
he would never get used to 4t. And his skin 
crawled at the thought of the Negative mat- 
ter in the swarm around them. 

Kells’ voice came excitedly on the space- 

“That ship’s not dead, sir! There are peo- 
ple coming out from it!” 

Farrel’s pulse jumped as he saw that three 
figures had leaped out from the oval ship and 
were coming by impeller to meet them. 

“They must have sighted our ship just as 
we saw theirs,” Kells was saying. “Now we 
can surely make repairs and get away.” 

“If a Negative meteor doesn’t hit us first,” 
warned Farrel. 

Kells was shooting eagerly ahead to meet 
the oncoming three figures. Farrel, follow- 
ing, saw that the space-suits of these three 
were as unusual as their experimental ship. 
Not only their helmets but their whole suits 
seemed to be of transparent plastic. 

“Why, one of the two in back is a girl!” 
came Kells’ surprised exclamation from 
ahead. “Captain, I — ” 

At that moment, Kells’ suited figure met 
the man leading the three strangers. They 
clasped gloved hands to avoid drifting past 
each other. 

A blinding flare of energy exploded where 
Kells and the other man had just touched! 
And as that flare died, the two men were — 

“Stars in heaven!” choked Farrel. “Those 
people — they’re Negative!” 

T HE hideous unexpectedness of it stunned 
his brain, left him floating numbly. Float- 
ing right toward the remaining two strangers! 

He glimpsed them clearly, inside their 
transparent suits. They were white-skinned 
people like himself. One was a young man. 

The other person, the nearest, was a dark- 
haired girl whose wide, horrified green eyes 

met his gaze. Was she shouting to him? 

Farrel couldn’t see any space-phone mike 
inside her helmet. These people didn’t seem 
to have space-phones at all. 

Yet he heard something! Not with his ears. 
He heard it dimly in his mind, a thought and 
not a voice. A warning thought! 

“Keep — away — death — if — touch — ” 

Warning thoughts inside his brain? Had 
he gone crazy? 

“Farrel, use your impeller! Get back!” 
came Gorley’s voice in frantic warning from 
the ship, over his space-phone. 

That real, familiar voice snapped Farrel out 
of his daze enough to make him shift his 
impeller. Its flaming jet checked his drift. 

The girl had similarly checked herself. She 
and the man floated a dozen yards away 
from Farrel, staring wildly at him. 

Farrel saw her more clearly now, the 
broad, low forehead, the wide, stunned green 
eyes, the parted red lips, and the rounded 
limbs hardly concealed by the short tunic 
she wore inside her transparent suit. 

He forced speech from a dry throat. “Good 
grief! What are you people? You can’t be 

The girl saw him speaking. She shook her 
head. She eouldn’t hear him. He remem- 
bered that she had no space-phone in her 

“But how do they talk to each other in 
space without phones?” Farrel wondered 

“Not talk — thought — brain waves — ampli- 

Again, those sudden thoughts rushed 
through his mind. Thoughts that were not 

Dimly, he remembered something. The en- 
cephalic brain-waves discovered back in 1929 
by Berger, those minute electric oscillations 
of the brain — could it be that they were used 
somehow for communication? 

“For talk, yes! We use— apparatus that — 
amplifies our brain-waves and broadcasts 
them at short range. Mechanical telepathy.” 

He was hearing those thoughts much more 
clearly now, as the girl came a little closer! 
Mechanical telepathy, thought-pulsations 
electrically amplified and broadcast to every 
nearby brain! 

He had learned a little to catch her quick 
mental messages. 

“You have no amplifier, but at close range 
I can faintly receive your thought,” she was 
telling him. “You are — receiving mine?” 


“Yes,” he started to say, but the girl made 
a quick gesture. 

“Think your answer. Think it with all your 
mind, as you speak it!” 

Fai’rel tried to do that as he spoke hoarsely. 

“You people — your ship — you’re really 
Negative? Living people of Negative matter?” 

Her mental answer echoed in his mind. 

“And you are of the other kind of matter? 
But it is incredible! No one has ever dreamed 
of that.” 

That went double, Farrel thought numbly. 
No one in his own world had seriously 
thought that there might be people who were 

Yet why not? There were whole Negative 
worlds, Mars, Venus and others. Why 
shouldn’t life have risen on them, the same as 
on Earth? Negative matter was just as good 
for that purpose as Positive! 

His brain reeled. He tried to think con- 
centratedly as he asked: 

“Who are you? What world are you from?” 

“I am Ylleen,” was the girl’s replying 
thought, as nearly as he could grasp it. “And 
I come from the red planet yonder.” 

Her arm gestured toward the far red spark 
of Mars. 

“Our ship was returning home from the 
sixth planet when its turbines failed. We 
drifted into this swarm. We have been work- 
ing to repair them,” 

Ylleen? A girl from the Negative world of 
Mars, a Negative girl talking to him here by 
amplified thought- waves? It all seemed im- 

Two wholly different peoples co-existing in 
the Solar System without knowing of each 
other until this chance encounter in space? 
Two peoples infinitely separated by their 
basic difference in matter? 

He had to odmit its possibility. Neither folk 
had been able to visit the other’s worlds, so 
had not even suspected the other’s existence 
till — 

“Farrel! Behind you!” 

That sharp, warning cry in his ears came 
suddenly from the distant Thetis in Gorley’s 

At the same moment, Ylleen and the man 
with her pointed behind him in frantic 

Farrel twisted his neck and glimpsed the 
jagged, thirty-foot ball of stone riding pon- 
derously through the swarm toward them. 

“Quick!” came Ylleen’s flashing thought. 

“Use your impellers!” 

F ARREL’S impeller hurled him zenith- 
ward and Ylleen shot up in the same di- 
rection. But the Negative man near her mis- 
judged direction. 

“Bran, upward!” Ylleen’s frantic amplified 
thought directed at the other Martian im- 
pinged on Farrel’s brain. “You’re heading 

Bran, the Negative man, saw his mistake 
and tried to dodge clear with his impeller but 
was a shade too late. 

The edge of the jagged mass brushed his 
space-suit. There was a blinding explosion of 
light. The Negative man and a segment of the 
meteor vanished in it, and then the great 
stone mass thundered on. 

Ylleen’s thought came agonized with grief. 
“It was a Positive meteor and it grazed 

“Ylleen, swerve westward!” Farrel 
shouted, thinking the warning urgently as 
he did so. “There’s drift behind that meteor!” 
A little cloud of fragments, of meteor- 
debris, was flowing toward them like a loose 
cataract of stone in the wake of the giant. 

Positive or Negative? Whichever that drift 
might be, it would be death to one of them, 
Farrel knew. He and the Negative girl were 
perilously close together as their impellers 
hurled them hastily away. 

The loose river of stone fragments flowed 
past behind them, following the gravitational 
suck of the big meteor. Wandering fragments 
that strayed near Farrel made his flesh creep, 
for they might be Negative. 

Finally, he and the Negative girl paused a 
little apart from each other in space. 

“This is a devil’s nest of danger,” Farrel 
warned. “We’d better each get back to our 
own ships before we get hit.” 

“Our ship is almost repaired,” came 
Ylleen’s thought. “Is there any way we can 
help you?” 

Farrel made a gesture of helplessness. 

“No way. You can’t give us spare jet-tubes 
or anything else, for you and all your stuff 
are Negative. But thanks for the offer.” 

He looked around, but neither ship was 
now in sight. There was nothing but the 
great starry void, alive with moving crumbs 
of light. 

“Gorley!” he called into his space-phone. 
“Get a direction fix on me and tell me which 
way to come!” 

There was no answer, though he called 
repeatedly. A chill came over Farrel as he 
realized what it meant. 


“I can’t reach my people with my short 
range space-phone. We went further than I 
thought, dodging that drift.” 

“Nor can I reach my people!” Ylleen ex- 
claimed. “Our telepathic amplifiers are also 
built only for short-range work.” 

Floating there a little apart, they looked at 
each other in simultaneous dismay. 

“We are lost!” the girl said. “We’ve no 
idea where our ships are.” 

Lost? Farrel felt the disastrous shock of it. 
Lost here in a swarm that was laden with 
Negative matter, and with his only compan- 
ion a girl whom he couldn’t even touch with- 
out annihilating them both! 

He realized now, too late, what had hap- 
pened. The meteor-swarm was a loose, 
swirling net that rotated in currents of vary- 
ing speed. The complicated currents had 
swept them apart from the ships, and their 
own impellers had quickly widened the dis- 

Farrel desperately tried to determine di- 
rection by the position of the Sun and inner 

“The ships must be drifting somewhere in 
that direction,” he said finally, pointing. 
“They can’t be too far away from us yet.” 

“And they must still be fairly near each 
other, so we will go together,” Ylleen said. 

They triggered their impellers and started 
rocketing in that direction, at a respectful 
distance from each other. 

Glancing at the Negative girl as they 
hurtled on, Farrel felt growing admiratioif. 
Her lovely face was unafraid She -asked 
him his name. 

Her thought repeated it oddly, as a sound 
like “Far-ul.” 

“I wish there were some way our people 
and worlds could know each other,” he told 

“Far-ul, so do I. Perhaps some day they 
can. Our scientists have been trying to con- 
vert Negative to Positive matter by first 
attaining an intermediate neutral stage. But 
they have not yet succeeded.” 

“It is only out here in empty space that we 
two could ever have met like this, without 
destroying each other,” she added. 

“Yes,” thought Farrel. “Positive is Posi- 
tive, and Negative is Negative — 

“ — and never the twain shall meet, 

Till Earth and sky stand presently 
At God’s great Judgment-Seat.” 

“You quote one of your poets?” Ylleen’s 
thought asked. “But it is true. For isn’t this 


vastness of space like a mighty Judgment- 

They hurtled on and on, frequently twist- 
ing their heads to watch for the death that 
was never far from them in the whirling 

Over another flowing cataract of stone 
fragments, rocketing hastily upward to avoid 
the gravitational suck of a ten-mile plane- 
toid, they pressed steadily in the direction on 
which Farrel had fixed. 

Cold conviction of error crept upon him 
after an hour. For they were still within the 
swarm, but saw nothing of the two ships. 

“We’d better swerve eastward,” he said, 
worried by his discovery. “We’ve got to com- 
pensate for the faster current as well as our 
own deviation.” 

“Far-ul, do you think we shall find the 
ships before our oxygen and impeller-charges 
give out?” Ylleen’s thought questioned. 

Her face, and the tone of her telepathic 
question, were calm and without a trace of 

F ARREL’S heart warmed to her. He 
wished he’d met a girl like her in his own 
world, years ago. He mightn’t have had such 
a lonely life. 

“You’ve oxygen for a couple of hours yet?” 
he asked anxiously. “So have I. We’ll surely 
find them before that runs out. The ships 
will certainly try to signal us.” 

The worst of it was, he thought, that no 
ordinary beacon signal would be visible in 
this great swarm of sparks. And they were 
completely out of space-phone range. 

As they steadily wprked their dangerous 
way on through the swarm, he asked Ylleen 
eager questions about her world of Mars. 

Her telepathed descriptions built in Par- 
rel's mind a picture of moondrenched red 
deserts, of little fairy cities of pink plastic, 
of a girl who had longed to be a technician 
and help in conquering space. 

“Your Earth is not like that, Far-ul?” she 

“No, though we too have deserts,” he said. 
“But there are great green oceans too, and 
blue skies and snowy mountains and great 

He found himself talking about his own 
life, something he had never done before to 
any girl. 

Ylleen’s green eyes were understanding. “I 
think you have been very lonely, Far-ul.” 
“I’ve had my job to do the same as you, 


the job of helping open up the other Positive 
worlds,” Farr el said. 

“We two are much alike,” Ylleen said. 
“Far-ul, I am glad that we met!” 

“And I!” he exclaimed impulsively. 
“Ylleen, I wish you were a girl of my own 

She smiled at him a little sadly. 

“Would it make much difference now, when 
the end for us may be near?” 

“Don’t say that,” he begged her. “We’ll 
get out of this yet. We’re nearing the outer 
fringe of the swarm and must see the ships 

They had to use their impellers constantly 
to dart aside from onrushing planetoids or 
gleaming showers of fragments. Each of 
them watched a hemisphere of the void for 
danger as they worked forward. 

Farrel’s weariness increased. He saw 
Ylleen’s face white and strained inside her 
helmet, but she flashed her brave smile when 
she saw him looking. 

Impelling himself too violently away from 
an oblong stone mass of which Ylleen had 
given warning, Farrel found himself only a 
foot away from her. 

“Far-ul, back!” she cried, using her own 
impeller to recoil from him. She added shak- 
ily then, “If you had touched me-— it would 
have been awful!” 

He knew, with an icy sensation along his 
spine, what that would have meant. Instant 
annihilation, for both of them. 

His oxygen-tank needle was dropping 
steadily back toward zero. The blasts of his 
impeller seemed a little weaker, too. 

They hurtled up to avoid a loose cluster of 
football-sized rocks, then hovered over it and 
looked ahead in appalled dismay. 

They had come almost to the outer fringe of 
the swarm. And neither of the two ships was 
in sight anywhere in the starry vault! 

“Ylleen, I’ve led you in the wrong direc- 
tion,” Farrel said, in bitter self-reproach. 
“I’ve thrown away your chances.” 

“We shared the same risk,” she told him 
steadily. “It’s not your fault.” 

They floated, hovering over the cluster of 
rocks without attempting further search. For 
both knew that time was running out now. 

Ylleen looked at him. 

“If I must die, I am glad that it is this 
way,” she said. “I am not afraid, with you.” 

He saw in her face, across a dozen yards of 
space, what he had never seen in any wom- 
an’s face in all his lonely years. And he felt 

a warm, bursting emotion released in him. 

“Ylleen, listen!” he said huskily. “It’s mad- 
ness to say this. But I never loved any girl 
in my life, and I love you!” 

Her soft green eyes shone with a wonderful 
gladness. “Far-ul, is it true? For I know that 
I love you. From the first, I have been wish- 
ing that we might have been of the same 
world, of the same kind.” 

Wistful longing quivered in her white face. 
“If we could have had but a little time to- 
gether — if we could only have touched hands, 
even! But we can’t, we can’t! All that we 
can do together is to die.” 

B LIND waves of heartbreak rose in Far- 
rel as he realized the tragic trap that 
fate had set for him. 

To meet at last this girl he loved, and to be 
doomed never even to touch her! To meet 
here in tire solemn vault of space in a death- 
trap from which they could not escape — it 
was so hopeless! 

“Ylleen, you have got to escape!” Farrel 
exclaimed fiercely. “I’m not going to let you 

A desperate expedient had flashed across 
his mind. “Tell me, if we could signal your 
ship would it be able to come for you?” 

“I think so,” the Negative girl said won- 
deringly. “Its turbine-repairs should be com- 
pleted by now. But how can we signal?” 

He pointed down at the cluster of rocks 
below them, over which they were drifting. 

“Some of those little meteorites must be 
Positive, and some Negative. You can handle 
the Negative ones, and I the others. If we 
hurl two meteorites of opposing kinds to- 
gether, the flash they make will be visible a 
long way through the swarm. And a series 
of such flashes — ” 

Ylleen instantly understood. “But my ship, 
my people, would not be able to help you, 

Farrel lied quickly. “My own ship should 
be repaired too, by ifbw. They too will see 
and come.” 

Ylleen did not flinch at the prospect of 
entering the loose, drifting cluster below. 
But she asked: 

“How can we tell which meteors are Nega- 
tive and which are Positive?” 

Farrel had foreseen that necessity. 

“Use your impeller-blast on each one as 
you approach it, Ylleen. The atomic particles 
from your blast are Negative — if they start a 
sudden flare, the meteor is Positive.” 


He used the same system of detection him- 
self, when they had gingerly moved down 
into the cluster. 

Here, danger was close all around them. 
They were drifting with the cluster and its 
stones seemed merely to be floating around 
them, but a touch of the wrong kind of 
meteor meant destruction. 

Farrel turned his own impeller-blast on 
the nearest meteor. 

It flared dazzlingly, a rind of its surface 

He backed hastily away, knowing it was 
Negative. He tried another. The blast merely 
fused the surface of this stone a little. Farrel 
quickly advanced and seized it. 

Ylleen had already grasped a Negative 
meteor a little larger than his. They could 
not throw them, floating free as they were. 
So, at Farrel’s direction, they rocketed to- 
ward each other with the stones, then at the 
last moment released the two little meteors 
and curved away. 

The two meteors met and a soundless burst 
of brilliance exploded in the void, instantly 

“Now another!” sweated Farrel. “If they 
only see one flash, they’ll think it merely a 
natural collision.” 

Again, and then again, they ventured down 
into the cluster for opposing meteors and 
hurled them together to cause brilliant 

The fourth time, Ylleen’s thought, came to 
him in warning. 

“Far-ul, I can do little more. My oxygen 
will soon be gone.” 

“If I could only give you some of mine!” 
he answered agonized. 

He couldn’t give her any. That was the 
bitterest torment of all. His oxygen, like 
everything else about him, would be instant 
death for her. 

Her eyes clung to his across the little space 
that separated them. 

“I am not afraid. Not even now, so long as 
you are here!” 

And then, out of the maze of swarming 
sparks, a red flare of rocket-jets and an on- 
rushing, oval black bulk loomed toward 

“It’s your ship!” Farrel cried out eagerly. 
“They’ve seen, and have come for you!” 

“But your ship has not come!” exclaimed 
the Negative girl, fear in her voice. 

“It will come soon,” lied Farrel. “Quick, 
be ready to get aboard,” 

“I will not leave you here to die alone!” 
flamed Ylleen. 

A wonderful, yearning emotion flooded 
Farrel’s heart as they looked at each other 
while the Negative ship loomed closer. 

“There’s nothing you can do. Your ship, 
your people, can’t help me. You must go, 

“No, there’s still a chance!” she insisted. 
“My people will know where your ship lies 
in the swarm, Far-ul! Wait!” 

H E KNEW that she was directing her 
thought at the oncoming vessel whose 
brake-jets were now slowing it to a stop. 
He could vaguely sense the swift, amplified 
telepathic question and answer. 

“They do know where your craft lies, Far- 
ul!” she told him. “They say your friends 
have found a Positive meteor with the metals 
that they need, and are repairing your vessel. 
We can lead you there — ” 

“No,” he told her quietly. “My impeller 
is almost exhausted, Ylleen. And I can’t use 

“Far-ul, listen! Gravitation operates the 
same with Positive as with Negative matter. 
You can’t touch our ship — but its gravita- 
tional suck can tow you through the swarm 
to your own vessel, if you can keep from 
contact with us.” 

It was a wild, hairbreadth chance that was 
offering itself, Farrel well knew. But he 
seized on it. 

“It could be done. And it’s the only way. 
Tell them to try it, Ylleen.” 

The big Negative vessel had come to a halt 
near them, its airlock door open and waiting. 
The gravitational pull of the big mass was 
such that Farrel had to use his weakening 
impeller to keep from floating toward it. 

Ylleen went into the ship and then came 
back out into the airlock near which Farrel 
was floating. 

“I have replenished my oxygen and I have 
told them what they must do,” she said 
tensely. “They will start gently.” 

Even that gentle start almost shook Farrel 
free of the Negative ship’s pull. From the 
airlock, Ylleen’s space-suited figure watched, 
stiff with anxiety for him. 

Slowly, cautiously, the oval ship moved 
through the swarm. Held in its gravitational 
suck, Farrel found himself circling the mov- 
ing vessel like a tiny, erratic satellite. 

His impeller’s blast was fast dwindling, as 
he used it to keep from a deadly contact 



Twisting, squirming, frantically firing his 
feeble little blasts, he was dragged on with 
the Negative ship. 

It seemed eternities, to Farrel. But at last 
the oval craft groped its way above a meteor- 
stream and into view of a long, torpedo- 
shaped ship to which was lashed a big, 
jagged meteor. 

“The Thetis!” Farrel cried. “Gorley, can 
you hear me?” 

The mate’s voice came in a shout on his 
space-phone. “Mother of Heaven! It’s the 
Captain come back! Get our airlock open!” 

The Negative ship had again slowed to a 
drift. From its open airlock, Ylleen came 
toward Farrel. She came so close that he 
could clearly see her white, strained face. 

“Ylleen, we’re safe,” he said huskily. “But 
this has to be goodby.” 

Her thought was quivering. “Must it be 
goodby for always?” 

“It must,” he said heavily. “We can never 
visit each other’s worlds. But — I’ll never 
love anyone else, Ylleen!” 

“Far-ul, listen!” she cried. “We can at 
least meet here again in space. Will you tneet 
me here, an Earth-year from now?” 

Farrel answered eagerly. “I will! We can 
meet above this swarm, by radar rendezvous. 
I’ll be here!” 

He saw that her face was wet with tears as 
she turned and impelled herself into the air- 
lock of her ship. 

In a few minutes, Farley was inside the 
Thetis. Gorley and Binetti unscrewed his 
helmet and ripped off his suit. 

“How did you get back?” the stupefied 
mate demanded. “And did you know that 
we’ve got enough refractory metals out of 
that big meteor outside to forge new jet- 
tubes? And — ” 

Farrel didn’t listen. He was looking out of 
the window at the Negative ship, as it blasted 
on its way out of the great swarm. 

It was on its way home to Mars, to the 
planet he could never visit. And Ylleen was 
going with it. But he seemed to hear still in 
his mind a fading telepathic cry. 

“An Earth-year from now, Far-ul! I will 
be here!” 


On Ganymede’s busy spaceport, Gorley 
tried a last vain expostulation as Farrel 
walked toward his waiting space-speedster. 

“In the year since we had that adventure in 
the swarm, I thought you’d have recovered 
your reason!” he stormed. “You can’t keep 

that crazy rendezvous!” 

“Ylleen will be there,” Farrel said steadily. 
“And I am going to meet her.” 

G ORLEY swore. “It was only the excite- 
ment and danger and all that made you 
think you were in love with her. And even 
if you two do love each other, what good 
will it do you to meet? You can’t even 
touch her.” 

“Just to see her again will be enough,” 
Farrel told him. “I’m going, Red.” 

His speedster took off with a rush and all 
the long hours and days that he flew through 
space it seemed to him that his heart was 
calling him homeward. 

When he finally brought his little craft 
above that vast swarm of debris, he saw in- 
stantly the other little ship that showed on 
his radar screen. He was soon as near it as 
he could safely go, and hurrying into his 

Out from that other little ship to meet him 
came another space-suited figure. On it came, 
until they were but a few yards apart. 

“Ylleen!” he cried, his voice throbbing. “I 
knew you would come.” 

For a time, they looked at each other. And 
Ylleen’s face was pale and strange. 

“Far-ul, I came because I do not want 
to be separated from you again, ever.” 

“But we can’t be together!” he protested, 
torturedly. “Not in this life!” 

“Would you risk death if we could come 
together?” she asked him tensely. 

“Of course I would!” he exclaimed. “But 

She interrupted by rocketing toward him. 
And her thought reached him like a sobbing 

“Then come, Far-ul!” 

He could not understand. If they touched, 
they would vanish together in a blaze of 
force and light. 

But a deep impulsion, a perfect trust, sent 
Farrel hurtling to meet her. Better to face 
death than to go back to the old loneliness 
and forget the only girl he had ever loved! 

He saw her white face inside the helmet, as 
they rushed toward each other. Their out- 
stretched hands met! 

And nothing happened! 

They were drifting together there in space, 
arms locked around each other, and nothing 
had happened at all! 

Farrel’s brain reeled. “Ylleen — what does 
it mean? You’re not Negative, now?” 


“No, I am like you now!” came her mental 
cry. “And we can be really together, Far-ul.” 
She told him eagerly, “I told you that the 
scientists of my world had been trying to con- 
vert Negative into Positive matter by first 
attaining an intermediate neutral stage. It 
was hoped their experiments were near suc- 
cess. That’s why I asked you to meet me 

“I don’t understand!” Farrel marveled. 
“How could they make Negative matter into 

“By first making it neutral,” she reminded. 
“They worked in a laboratory in free space, 
handling matter by magnetic tractor-beams. 
They found a way to bombard a piece of 
Negative matter with streams of neutrons so 
that a neutron replaced each negative proton 
in that bit of matter.” 

Farrel could dimly understand that. 

“A neutron will displace a proton in a 
nucleus, yes,” he said. “But since it has no 
charge, it couldn’t hold the positive electrons 
and they’d instantly rush free.” 

“And when that happens, the neutron- 
nuclei instantly emit negative electrons!” she 

“Of course!” Farrel cried. “And when a 
neutron emits a negative electron, it instantly 
itself becomes a positive proton! Positive 
protons and negative elections — it would be 
Positive matter then!” 

“It was not quite as simple as that,” Ylleen 
corrected. “Free negative electrons had to 
be jetted into the matter at the same instant 

6 ® 

to complete the structure of its atoms. But 
the whole process was almost instantaneous, 
starting automatically when triggered by the 
neutron bombardment.” 

Farrel was staggered by the colossal nature 
of that achievement of Martian science. 

“And they did that to you, Ylleen?” 

“I offered myself as the first living subject 
for their process,” she said simply. “In their 
laboratory in free space, they converted me 
and my little ship into Positive matter.” 

“But why didn’t you tell me at first?” he 

Her eyes clung to his face. 

“Far-ul, the whole process was theoret- 
ically perfect but there might be an error. 
I couldn’t let you risk facing death with me 
unless you were willing.” 

The risk that she too had taken, the perfect 
willingness with which she’d accepted per- 
petual exile from her own world, rushed 
over him. 

He held her more closely, even their space- 
suits not lessening the wonder of actually 
having her in his arms. 

“Ylleen! Ylleen!” 

She told him, presently, “It means that by 
that process of conversion, men of our worlds 
can visit each other in future. The two 
civilizations can grow together. Perhaps, 
even, whole worlds can be converted.” 

He could not think of that future of many 
worlds. Moving with her toward his ship, his 
arms locked about her, he could only think of 
the future that would be theirs alone. 

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When Latin-American tyrant Jose Guttierez visits New York, 
political fugitive Luis Santos perfects a machine that can • 
eliminate space — and exacts fearsome, fantastic vengeance! 


Fantastic Device 

W ITH Santos 
looking at ,me 
with a queer 
fixed grin on his face I 
did as he had asked me 
to. He’d said something 
about a diamagnetic de- 
vice he wanted me to try, 
so I picked up a screw- 
driver from the floor — 
Santos was always hope- 
lessly untidy in his laboratory — and turned 
on the switch he’d indicated. I meant, then, 
to see what happened when I moved the 
screw-driver nearer the copper-crystal-wire 
contraption he had on his workbench near 
the window. But I didn’t. Because the in- 
stant I turned on the switch, the contraption 

My mouth dropped open. 

“Open the switch, amigo mio,” Santos said 

I opened it — and the contraption was back 
on the bench. It was. a weird-looking 
thing, that instrument — a copper bar center, 
and crystal rods, and wire wrapped around 
it in a distinctly lunatic pattern. It looked 
like Rube Goldberg might have designed it. 
But it was certainly real and certainly solid. 
I reached out my hand to touch it. It was 
there, all right! 

Santos spoke again, in a dry voice. 

“I think that you saw the same thing I 
did. Yes. So now I am not insane. Or 
rather, I know that we are all crazy together 
to think that we know anything! Let us go 
and have lunch. I have achieved a great 

“Hold on!” I said violently. “Let me do 
that again.” 

I threw the switch. The copper-crystal- 
wire device ceased to be. Now that I was 

not taken altogether by surprise, though, I 
could see that where it had been wasn’t al- 
together normal. There was an oddity about 
the space it had occupied. It wasn’t blurred, 
exactly, and it wasn’t exactly distorted. But 
it hurt my eyes to look through it. 

I gulped, and turned off the switch a sec- 
ond time. The object was solidly back, just 
where it had been. Santos had one of his 
queer looking arc lights focused on the table. 
Its rays made everything visible. The de- 
vice was there, all right! 

“W-wait a minute!” I said, shaken. “You 
can’t do this to me! What is it, Santos? 
What the devil happened?” 

“It disappears,” said Santos. He was a 
queer, dried-up little runt of a Latin-Ameri- 
can, and I liked him very much. “It tem- 
porarily ceases to be. I am as much dis- 
turbed as you are.” 

I THREW the switch a third time. The 
blasted thing vanished. I reached toward 
it and stopped, cautiously. 

“Is it dangerous to touch when it’s turned 

“Try,” said Santos. He shrugged until his 
shoulders seemed almost to go up to his ears. 
“I have tried. I cannot do it.” 

The peculiar grin came on his face again. 
It seemed to be compounded of amazement, 
and wonder, and pride, and a look of startled 
but very deep satisfaction. 

I reached for the thing I knew must be 
there. It was invisible, of course — which was 
fantastic enough in itself — but there has been 
a lot of theorizing about invisibility. If one 
can bend light- rays around an object, it will 
become invisible. 

There are conditions of refraction in which 
an opaque object cannot be seen. And you 
can print two dots side by side on a sheet of 
paper, and hold the paper a certain distance 
from your eyes and one of them disappears— 
until you move the paper. Invisibility is 
hard enough to imagine, but you can con- 



cede that it might be brought about — just 
possibly could be managed. So I reached for 
that copper-crystal-wire contrivance. 

My hand went through the place where it 
had been. I felt nothing. I reached around 
it and swept my arm toward myself, to be 
sure of including it in the sweep. And then 
I came very close to fainting. Because — this 
is going to be hard to take — I didn’t feel any- 
thing in the least peculiar, but suddenly my 
hand was away over to the left, a good foot 
and a half farther from my elbow than was 
customary, and there was a space between 
my wrist and forearm. 

I made what must have been a strangled, 
squawking noise and stumbled backward. 
And there was my hand on the end of my 
arm, just as it always has been. But I felt 
chilly all over and there was cold sweat run- 
ning down my face. 

Luis Santos looked at me with the same 
queer gleam in his eyes. 

“Precisamente,” he said, nodding. “I have 
felt all of this. It is extremely upsetting. 
Think how I felt when I found out that I 
had made it!” He stood up. “I think we had 
better go to lunch. A cup of coffee would be 
good for our nerves.” 

But I turned the switch off, and the thing 
was back, and I turned it on and it wasn’t 
there, and I felt that queer stinging effect in 
my eyes. But I didn’t try to touch it again. 

“Listen, Santos!” I said shakily. “This is 
too screwey. What is it?” 

He shrugged again, and his face had the 
same queer startled expression on it. 

“I designed a diamagnet,” he told me. 
“There is no such thing. There cannot be 
such a thing. But I evolved a theory which 
said that if I did such-and-such things, a dia- 
magnet would result. I checked the theory, 
step by step. Every step was sound. So I 
made it. If it proved to be a diamagnet, I 
reasoned, I would have proved certain ac- 
cepted principles of physics to be false. 

“On the other hand, if it did not prove to 
be a diamagnet, certain other accepted prin- 
ciples would prove to be false. And I was 
shocked to observe that both are true. 

“A diamagnet cannot exist. But this de- 
vice should be one. Both theories are cor- 
rect. The device without energy is not a 
diamagnet, so it can exist. When it is, it be- 
comes a diamagnet, which cannot exist, so 
it ceases to be. Then when the switch is 
thrown off it is no longer a diamagnet, so it 
can exist again. It is very upsetting and I am 

much scrambled in my brains.” 

He stood up. 

“I think that I need to talk of something 
else,” he said, and now I realized that Santos 
was as much shaken as I was. “I am of a 
very select company, amigo. There was Gal- 
vani, and there was Faraday, and there have 
been a few others. Now I am one of them, 
because I have found a new principle of 
science. But it is not a comfortable discov- 
ery, to learn that two principles can flatly 
contradict each other and both be right.” 

I turned the switch off and on, and off and 
on. The complicated-seeming gadget was 
alternately present and solid and real, and 
completely absent and non-existent. It looked 
like a conjuring trick. But I remembered my 
hand floating in thin air, a good foot and a 
half farther from my elbow than it should 
have been. And I shivered. 

T HEN Luis Santos took my arm. He was 
a little man, as I said— barely above my 
shoulder. He was lean, and his face was 
wrinkled, and he had a nasty scar which 
began just above his collar and went down 
his neck out of sight. 

He led me firmly toward the door and 
lunch. I went along almost dazedly. It may 
sound commonplace enough to hear about 
but, when something like that actually hap- 
pens to you, it sets butterflies to crawling in 
your stomach. 

I kept looking at my hand, which had ap- 
parently been separated from my body. I 
moved it feverishly, reassuring myself that 
it was still there. I began to try to explain 
to myself that it wasn’t so — that it hadn’t 

I wish it hadn’t. 

Thinking back, it still doesn’t make sense. 
Santos was a Hondaguan, from the little Re- 
public of Hondagua down below the Equator. 
He was Latin-American — pure Spanish as 
far as I could tell — and you don’t expect 
Latin-Americans, somehow, to be scientists. 

You think of them and of revolutions and 
politicians, and if you know a few of them 
you think of poetry and literary effusions and 
highly intellectual and not very meaty talk. 
But science, no. Facts seem to hamper most 
of them. 

Even Santos had seemed less than eon- ' 
structive. I knew his work, of course, He 
seemed to take a fiendish delight in taking 
some new and solemnly announced discov- 
ery and repeating all the described experi- 


ments with meticulous care, and then pub- 
lishing a painstaking account of the results — 
which demolished the discovery. People 
cursed him. But if he said that a certain ex- 
periment, conducted in precisely this fashion, 
produced exactly that result — it was so. He 
had that much reputation, at least. 

For the rest, without making any mystery 
about himself he was more or less obscure. 
He’d come to the United States, graduated 
from a very good technical school here, and 
gone back to Hondagua. Ten years later he’d 
turned up in New York, wrinkled and al- 
ready dried up, and had set to work pains- 
takingly to demolish the work of other men. 
Until now he’d never announced any original 
work of his own. What he’d done in the ten 
years he was back home, I didn’t know. He 
never spoke of it. 

He led me down to the dining room in 
the Institute, and we took seats at a table 
facing each other. We both looked as if we’d 
seen a ghost. 

“First, we lunch,” said Santos firmly. “We 
think about something else. I am afraid of 
that thing. So we will talk about other mat- 
ters until we have had our coffee.” 

But I wasn’t much good at talking, just 
then. I had seen a solid substance cease to 
be, and I had seen a quite impossible condi- 
tion of space which hurt my eyes, and I’d 
passed my hand through it and my hand was 
separated by a good foot and a half from 
the rest of my arm, and seemed not to have 
noticed its own aberration. I looked at my 
fingers and moved them painstakingly. Of 
course nothing had happened to them but the 
impossible, but I couldn’t talk. 

“The situation seems to call for desperate 
measures,” said Santos, smiling faintly. “Did 
I ever tell you about my home in Hondagua?” 

It was the only subject outside of what I’d 
seen that I could really have listened to, be- 
cause as I said, he was in a mild way a 
mystery. I knew he didn’t like to talk about 
his home. But now he did. He knew we 
both needed to stop thinking of that pre- 
posterous gadget of copper and glass and 
wire up on his wosk-table. So since I 
couldn't* help him, he helped me. 

He gave me a picture of his home in 
Hondagua with crisp words that painted 
drooping palm-trees and a sky that was too 
blue for anybody to believe, and a sea that 
lapped against a shore of white sand. There 
was hot sunshine, and lazy comfort, and an 
infinitude of reasons for not doing anything 


in particular and being quite happy about it. 
There was a white-walled, sprawling haci- 
enda, with jasmine growing all about it, and 
barefooted Indian servants, and a roofed- 
over well. 

“The water from that well, amigo, does not 
taste like water from a hydrant,” said San- 
tos parenthetically. “It is much superior. And 
there was a smiling dark-haired girl. . . 

Santos stopped short. 

After a moment he went on again. He was 
doing it for me, because I was not in a very 
good mental state and he wanted to distract 
me. You often read of fantastic scientific 
devices, in fiction. But when you actually 
see one, it hits hard! 

Elastic Space 

S ANTOS talked about his horses, and his 
dogs, and the lazy drives into the sleepy, 
lazy town of Niente, and of the house in the 
capital city of Hondagua which sprawled over 
half a city block and had been added to by 
his forefathers until nobody on earth could 
ever have made a plan of it. And the an- 
cient, creaking, unbelievably elaborate bar- 
ouche in which it had been the custom of 
the ladies of his family to pay solemn, offi- 
cial calls for uncounted years. It was ridicu- 
lous, that barouche. Why, once the dark- 
haired girl — 

He stopped, and sweated. Then he man- 
aged to smile. 

“I think you are thinking of something 
else now, eh?” he asked. “I shall look at the 
paper for a moment.” 

Table service in the Institute restaurant 
is not swift. It is a tradition, together with 
the stodgy dinginess of the corridors. We 
waited to have our coffee brought us, and he 
picked up the newspaper that had been laid 
on our table. He began to glance at the 
headlines. His hands shook a little. He 
wasn’t thinking of the paper. But his eyes 
must have taken in some of the print, be- 
cause suddenly he trembled violently. 

He laid down the paper. He was very pale 
indeed. He saw my expression. He smiled 
at me, but his eyes were very strange. 

“I think we are both cured of thinking of 
that thing upstairs,” he said quietly. “I see 



in today’s newspaper that the Persidente of 
Hondagua is to come to this city on a good- 
will visit to the United States. That would 
cure me of thinking of anything!” 

He picked up his coffee-cup. He hadn’t 
noticed its arrival. He drank some of it, but 
some of it spilled, and his face looked thin 
and pale and desperate. 

“Now I shall go back to thinking of my 
diamagnet with relief,” he observed remotely. 
“It is much easier to bear.” 

But suddenly, as if he could not help it, 
he told me. His voice was savagely bitter. 
It hurt to hear him. 

Hondagua was one of those nations which 
paid strictly lip-service to democracy. Its 
president — Jose Manuel Guttierez — had been 
in office for eighteen years. During those 
eighteen years there had not been the pre- 
tense of an election. There had not been the 
pretense of justice in the courts or honesty 
in its officials. Worse, there had not been 
a pretense of decency on the part of the ab- 
solute and arbitrary presidente. 

The dark-haired girl had been Santos’ 
wife. She had attracted the attention of the 
saddle-colored Guttierez. He’d blandly in- 
vited her to the Presidential palace. She did 
not go. She disappeared — kidnapped by 
members of the presidential guard. , 

“I was away, hunting,” said Santos, thin- 
lipped. “When I heard, I went mad. I went 
to the palace with a revolver, and I was shot 
down on the ground that I had attempted to 
assassinate the Presidente. That was my in- 
tention, but I had no opportunity. I was left 
for dead, but I did not die.” Then he added; 
“Unfortunately ! ” 

He paused for a moment. 

“My wife, also, was dead,” he said evenly. 
“When I recovered, I began a revolution. 
There were enough of people who were as 
desperate as I! For three months we man- 
aged to keep the field. We did some damage, 
to people who undoubtedly hated Guttierez 
as much as we did. But it was quite hope- 
less. We became hunted fugitives. Once 
they caught forty of my men alive, promising 
them their lives if they surrendered. I my- 
self heard the volleys by which they were 
executed. I was hiding in a peon’s house not 
half a mile away. Ultimately, just twelve of 
us got out of the country.” 

Then he spread out his hands, smiling 

“I planned to go back some day and 
strangle that Guttierez with my own hands. 

But already a thousand men had died in my 
revolt And — my men did not always behave 
like Sunday-school scholars. If I could have 
been sure of killing him — that would have 
been one thing. But to cause the deaths of 
other men, and perhaps the shame of other 
women, to revenge the injuries I had re- 
ceived, that I could not manage. And as a 
result — ” his eyes showed that he sneered 
at himself “ — I have become a great man! I 
have made a diamagnet, amigo mio, I have 
made a thing which cannot exist and which 
ceases to be the instant its existence begins, 
while Guttierez here visits as the president 
of a friendly nation!” 

I T WAS now my turn to try to draw his 
mind away from what he was thinking 

“You’ll probably be sorry you told me 
that,” I said bluntly, “So I’m going to forget 
it unless you mention it again. But that dia- 
magnet isn’t the trifle you think. If you'll 
go up to your lab again, I think we’ll find 
out that it is important, after all, and well 
worth a man’s life to find out. You com- 
pleted it as recently as you say?” 

“Half an hour before you came in,” he told 
me without interest, “I turned it on for the 
first time, then. Very well. Let us go.” 

I went back to his laboratory with him. I 
talked enthusiastically of unstated suspicions 
I began to have of its capabilities and sig- 
nificance. I really got him to think of it 

And again I wish I hadn’t. 

When we got to the lab, the first question, 
of course, was what became of the contrap- 
tion when it was turned on and vanished. 

We took a wooden rod and poked into the 
space it had occupied. There wasn’t any- 
thing there but an extraordinary optical 
effect that told you something was wrong 
when you looked at it. The rod came out — 
surprisingly far — on the other side. Then I 
drew the rod bodily through the queer ap- 
pearance, holding its two ends. It was the 
same thing I’d done with my arm. 

The rod was about a yard long. I pulled 
it to me, and suddenly it pushed my hands 
apart I hate to admit it, but the hair stood 
up on top of my head, because the rod was 
solid, and it was expanding violently. 

Then I saw that there was an empty space 
in the middle. It looked as if there were two 
rods. But the two ends felt as if there were 
only one. 


I continued to pull it toward me, and 
abruptly it shrank to its normal length and 
the open space in the middle vanished, and 
it was a single piece of wood again. 

Santos fiddled with the scar on his neck. 
Suddenly he nodded his head. 

“I think that that explains everything,” 
he said coolly. “Look, amigo!” 

He put the rod back through the queer 
optical condition. As seen from the side, the 
rod was a foot and a half longer than it had 
been, and there was an empty space a foot 
and a half wide in the middle. But when 
Santos pushed the rod to and fro the gap 
between the two sections remained the same, 
and in the same place, but the relative 
lengths of the two sections changed. Now 
there was one inch in the piece on the left- 
hand side, and now a foot, and now two, and 
now one inch again. 

And then Santos pulled it slowly, and that 
one inch shrank to half and a quarter and 
a bare shred. . . . And he had the end of 
the stick out of the hazy place, a foot and 
a half from where it had been the fraction 
of a second before. 

“Ah, yes!” said Santos. “And this will 
prove all of it.” 

He spread out a newspaper two sheets 
wide, and lowered it over the appearance. 
A hole appeared in the middle of the news- 
paper. It was not torn. It simply appeared, 
and the paper wrinkled and buckled on 
every side to make up for the hole. He 
raised the paper and the hole closed up flaw- 
lessly. He lowered it until an almost circu- 
lar hole a foot and a half in diameter was in 
the middle. 

“Turn off the switch,” he said. 

I did. There was one of the sharpest, nasti- 
est snapping sounds you ever heard, and that 
ungodly copper-and-glass contrivance was 
sticking through the newspaper and there 
was a cloud of fine paper-dust sifting through 
the air. 

“Pero si,” said Santos calmly. “That is it. 
But of course. How could it be otherwise?” 

He took out a cigarette and lighted it. He 
did not show any triumph or any pleasure in 
having found an explanation. 

“You are right, amigo mio,” he said in- 
stead, in detached tones. “This is important. 
It is worth the Nobel Prize, at least. I have 
forgotten who remarked that this is a mad 
world, but it is so. Now I understand why I 
was afraid of this thing. It is the sort of 
thing to make one’s hair prickle.” 

E GRINNED at me mirthlessly. 

“Perhaps I will become an eminent 
Hondaguan scientist, now. Guttierez may 
give me the Order of Sansovino, First Class. 
He may invite me home. And he would ex- 
press great grief if a deplorable accident 
caused my death within the hour of my 
landing. It is amusing.” 

But he did not look as if he were amused. 

“What the devil?” I demanded. “What 
happened then?” 

He blew a cloud of smoke. 

“The theory is simple. Two things can- 
not occupy the same space at the same time. 
They tried to. We speak of paramagnetic 
and diamagnetic substances as if there were 
magnetic and anti-magnetic fields of force. 
But we also speak of positive and negative 
electricity. Yet we know that there is no 
positive electricity, there is only a deficiency 
of electrons which are negative charges. So 
there is no anti-magnetism in space as we 
know it, but only a deficiency of magnetrons 
in certain substances like copper and bis- 

“But you said — ” 

“That I made a diamagnet,” said Santos. 
“And so I did. But it cannot exist in our 
space. Therefore, in order to exist, it must 
create a space which is different from ours, 
in which it can exist. And this it does. That 
much is clear, I think, from the experiments 
we made only now.” 

“Hold hard!” I protested. “You’re suggest- 
ing that the thing goes into a sort of fourth 

“No,” said Santos with an abrupt flagging 
of interest. “Into a closed universe. A tiny 
pocket-sized universe of its own. Exactly 
the same thing, say, as an atom so heavy 
that it collapses space upon itself. There 
would be no way to detect such an atom. But 
we can detect this thing, because the space 
which ceases to be is so large.” 

He sat down and fixed his eyes somberly 
on the opposite wall. I blinked. Then it be- 
gan to make sense. There was a long silence 
in the barren-looking room which was San- 
tos’ laboratory. But I need to see things, 
sometimes, before they are firmly in my 

So I went over to the table where Santos 
wrote up his notes and picked up a rubber 
band and a paper-clip. It was a red rubber 
band, I remember. 

I slipped the paper-clip on it and stretched 
it between the thumb and forefinger of my 


hand. Then — feeling very foolish— I made 
two ink-spots on the rubber. They were a 
couple of inches from each other, with the 
paper-clip in between. 

The paper-clip represented the copper- 
glass-wire contrivance, and the ink-spots 
two arbitrary places on the table. Then I 
twisted the paper-clip so that it wound up 
the rubber band about itself. It stretched. 
The ink-spots approached each other. Pres- 
ently they touched. Then I let go the paper- 
clip and everything slipped back. They were 
far apart again, with the clip in between. 

That was it, exactly. Einstein has proved 
that space is elastic. The rubber band was 
also elastic. When the paper-clip — repre- 
senting the weird object on the work-table — 
wrapped the rubber band which represented 
space about itself, why, presently there 
wasn’t any rubber band or space between 
the two dots. But when I released it, every- 
thing went back to normal and there was 
space and a metal object between them. 

The diamagnet wrapped space about it- 
self. It absorbed space. The reason one’s 
eyes hurt when looking at the place where 
space had been absorbed was that they tried 
to focus impossibly. Objects behind the van- 
ished gadget were nearer than objects which 
weren’t behind it. They hadn’t moved, of 
course. But a certain amout of space — of dis- 
tance — had been removed. 

“This,” I said presently, “means more 
than I pretended to think, Santos.” 

He shrugged. For years he had kept so 
busy that he could not remember his home 
in Hondagua, or his wife, or the tragedy 
which had made revolution and bloodshed 
when he fought bitterly for vengeance. Per- 
haps, especially, he had kept busy so he 
could not remember the failure of his venge- 
ance. But the coming of the Presidente of 
Hondagua to New York upon a good-will 
visit — the one man in the world whose life 
was forfeit to him! 

I FOUND a couple of test-tube holders in 
the dusty wall cupboard. I put them a 
couple of feet apart, with Santos’, gadget in 
between. I threw the .switch and the thing 

I got behind one of the holders and looked 
at the other one. It was only six inches 
away. A foot and a half of the distance be- 
tween them had disappeared. 

I moved to the side of the table — and they 
were two feet apart. But in a straight line 

from one to the other, there was only six 
inches. Space had vanished between them, 
but not between anything else. The space 
between them had been rolled up and 
wrapped around Santos’ invention. 

I turned the switch oft and everything 
was normal again. But I began to tremble. 

“I say, Santos,” I said quietly. “Does it 
occur to you that you are the richest man in 
the world? This thing is going to make rail- 
roads and bridges and steamer-lines look 
rather silly. It’s going to make mines obso- 
lete, and I suspect it will do things to the 
law of the conservation of energy. If you 
can make this confounded thing create its 
own pocket universes in reasonably obliging 
shapes, you’re going to remake civilization!” 

As I have said, he was rather small and 
quite dried-up and not at all impressive to 
look at. He looked pathetic, with his face all 
pinched with hatred of the man who was to 
be an honored guest of the nation and the 
city. He tried to listen to me. I think he 
really did. But all he could do was manage 
an artificial, apologetic smile. 

“ Amigo mio,” he said listlessly,” I cannot 
think but so much of this matter now. Later, 
perhaps. At the moment it is necessary for 
me to consult with some of my friends. Not 
about this, but Guttierez, now that he is 
away from his palace and his guards.” 

There wasn’t even any excitement in his 
tone. There was hatred in it, though — hatred 
so terrible and so long -continued that it 
wasn’t even emotional but was as natural and 
as inevitable and as implacable as the need 
to breathe. I didn’t really see that then. I 
sympathized with him abstractedly, but my 
brain was on fire with the possibilities I saw 
in closed universes like the one his diamagnet 
would create. 

I made him listen to me. I explained, ur- 
gently, some of the possibilities I could see. 
He might perhaps never have thought of any 
actual application of his discovery. I saw what 
it could do in a practical way. I made him 
see it too. 

Now I wish I hadn’t done that, either. 


A Larger and Better Machine 

EXT morning the news headlines had 
nothing about the President of Honda- 


gua. It hadn’t been an important story, any- 
how. It had been printed somewhere down 
on the bottom of Page One, and it was there 
because Hondagua had rated a good many 
headlines during the war because of its con- 
sistently pro-Axis policy. It had to be 
dragooned into breaking off relations with 
Germany, and it had been definitely half- 
hearted in ostensible efforts to clear the coun- 
try of German spies. The news that its presi- 
dent was in the United States had a sardonic 
aspect that made it news for one edition. 

I have a habit, though, of reading editorials. 
Perhaps because I deal in unarguable facts 
so much that I like opinions that are debat- 
able. And there was an editorial in my paper 
on the visit of President Guttierez. It re- 
ferred to a communication in its letters-to- 
the-editor column. 

That letter was signed by a Spanish name 
I did not know. It was written with the pol- 
ished irony of a Spanish-speaking intellec- 
tual, and it was purest dynamite. It made 
points which bit. It pointed out that Guttierez 
had seized power and suppressed all electoral 
privileges in Hondagua. It also mentioned 
that he had twelve- times threatened war 
against the sister-republics around Honda- 
gua. And then it added that the country 
was seething with revolt almost openly fos- 
tered by its neighbors for their own security. 

The Presidente had left Hondagua— in fact 
had been able to leave it- — only after elabo- 
rate negotiations with the surrounding coun- 
tries and the elements opposing him. He had 
agreed to call elections and leave the country 
before they came off. His departure, in fact, 
had been in the nature of an abdication in the 
face of revolt and foreign war. He’d been 
allowed to get away simply to save the blood- 
shed he could have caused by resistance. 

Newspaper articles in Havana, Bogota, and 
other Spanish-American cities were cited as 
verification. And then the letter pointed out 
that the private fortunes of many Axis lead- 
ers had been cached in Hondagua during the 
war, fortunes which those leaders would now 
never be able to claim. 

It added that the baggage of the Presidente 
of Hondagua would, of course, be endowed 
with diplomatic immunity and passed through 
the customs without examination. Then it 
suggested delicately that the visit of the 
Senor Don Jose Manuel Guttierez was not 
so much a gesture of good-will between sov- 
ereign nations as the getaway of a bandit 
with all the loot he had been able to steal or 

inherit from enemies of the United Nations. 

The editorial comment on the letter was on 
a high plane of impartiality, but the visit of 
the Presidente smelled to high heaven im- 

I didn’t go into Santos’ laboratory until late 
in the afternoon. It had occurred to me that, 
after all, the discovery was Santos’ and I 
hadn’t any right to butt in on it. Yet, I 
couldn’t think of very much else. 

If you could diminish the distance between 
two test-tube holders by a foot and a half 
without moving either of them, you ought to 
be able to do innumerable things that by the 
normal laws of nature were impossible. After 
all, that’s what civilization is — tricking 
physics to one’s own will. 

But this was more important than the 
harnessing of steam! It was more important 
than the use of electricity! It would rate, in 
future ages, at least equal with the invention 
of the wheel or even of writing. I foresaw 
a world remade and even the conquest of 
the stars! 

It was Santos’ discovery and only his, but — 
well — I managed to leave him alone until late 
afternoon. Then I couldn’t stay away any 
longer. On the way to the Institute, feeling 
very foolish, I stopped in a toy store and 
bought some marbles. 

He seemed glad to see me. He even looked 

“You were so enthusiastic yesterday, amigo 
mio, that I looked for you earlier,” he said 
gently. “I need your viewpoint; your in- 
genuity. I have a peculiar turn of mind. To 
me, this seems fascinating because of its pos- 
sible effect upon the history of thought. To 
you it means effects upon the history of 
civilization. That viewpoint is important. I 
should have it.” 

T HE gadget of the day before was no 
longer on the table, but there were two 
or three odd contrivances in its place and he 
was assembling something else. 

It was a strange place for the future of 
humanity to be formed in, I thought. Labora- 
tories in the Institute are not luxurious. This 
was cramped, and the walls needed painting, 
and it was definitely untidy. And of course 
Santos was not the stately figure the moul- 
ders of civilization have always seemed to be. 
But — 

“What have you done?” I asked feverishly. 
“I want to know if you can make those pocket 
universes of different shapes, or if they have 



to be globular. Everything depends on that. 
Nearly everything, anyhow!” 

He nodded toward the table. There was a 
cage-like thing which bore a definite family 
likeness to the apparatus that had almost 
driven me out of my mind the day before. 
This was about three inches in diameter and 
three feet long. Santos was working on some- 
thing quite similar, but shorter and with a 
fair-sized empty space inside. 

“That one,” he told me, nodding at the 
three-foot object, “makes a cylindrical pocket 
universe. It is also a movable device. This 
morning I put a mouse in the space here — ” 
he indicated the one he was working on “ — 
and closed space about it I released the little 
creature as a reward for surviving. I am 
making another change in it, but that is all 
I have done. I will show you the cylinder.” 
He put down the thing in his hands and 
went briskly to the work-table. He lifted 
the thing that looked rather like an over thick 
walking-cane made of lattice-work. There 
were thin glass rods included in it. 

“See?” he said, well pleased. “I learned 
much from the original. I have been able 
to simplify. Now observe!” 

He had a handle on it, with a switch. A 
wire ran to a power-socket. He turned the 
switch with a flick of his finger. The lattice 
walking-stick vanished, all but the handle. 
He passed his hand through the space where 
it had been. I had a horrible, sickening jolt 
when I saw the ends of his fingers seemingly 
jump three inches from the rest of his hand 
and then slip back into place unharmed. I 
knew what it was, of course. Along their 
length there wasn’t any space between them. 
From the side there seemed to be. 

“This, I think, is what you suggested yes- 
terday,” said Santos. “It is a cylinder of 
other-space. A closed space or a pocket uni- 
verse which is cylindrical.” 

He turned the handle and that peculiar look 
of wrongness moved. He seemed to rest the 
end of it on the floor. I went over, and my 
heart came into my throat. 

The wildest, wierdest of all my visions was 
quite true. The thing did absorb space. It 
was three feet long. 

When you put one end at the level of the 
floor and looked lengthwise through it, 
where the thing was, the floor was three feet 
nearer! I put my finger on what appeared 
to be a three-inch disk of planking at waist- 

It felt solid. It was. I was touching the 

floor without bending over. I fumbled in my 
pocket and laid a coin on that seemingly — 
but not actually — upraised disk of planking. 

Santos nodded, and turned off the switch. 

Then the lattice-work cane was back in 
place, and down on the floor, without bounc- 
ing and without dropping, there was the coin. 
He turned the switch on again and I picked 
it up — without stooping — and broke out in a 
cold sweat. 

“That’s what I thought,” I said shakily. 
“Lay that thing down sideways on your 
work-table. I — stopped and bought some 

He laid it down, and I showed him what I 
meant. With trembling hands I set up a sort 
of trough of cardboard, bent into a V, point- 
ing into the end of the lattice-work de- 

He turned it on. I rolled a marble down the 
trough so that it would run into the extra- 
ordinary optical look of wrongness, at one 
end. The rolling marble reached the limit of 
the pocket universe — and rolled away from 
the other end of it! 

It did not pass through the space in be- 
tween, because in that line there wasn’t any 
space in between! It had been rolled up and 
closed in upon itself. It simply wasn’t any 

O NE by one, I let every one of the 
marbles roll down the trough, and one 
by one they appeared with the utmost non- 
chalance and the same momentum a yard 
down the table. 

I took out my handkerchief and wiped my 
face. I was sweating. My teeth chattered. 

“Suppose, instead of something three 
inches in diameter and three feet long,” I 
said, “you make one of those things six 
feet in diameter and ten miles long! You 
put one end at Forty-second Street and the 
other up in Yonkers. You turn it on. It 
doesn’t exist any longer. It doesn’t block 
traffic. We walk right through where it was 
built. The space where it was has ceased to 

“And then suppose somebody walks into 
the Yonkers end of it? He steps with one step 
from Yonkers to Forty-second Street, be- 
cause along that line and only along that 
line, there isn’t any space in between! Sup- 
pose you build one of these things aeross the 
continent. It’d cause miracles!” 

Santos looked at me and grinned. But it 
wasn’t an excited grin. It was a sympathetic 


grin. It was a pleased grin. He actually 
seemed to be thinking much more of my en- 
thusiasm than of his own triumph. 

“Ah, yes!” he said. “That is true. That is 
rapid transit carried to the point where there 
is no longer such a thing as speed. If all goes 
well, amigo mio, you shall have full conduct 
of such practical matters as making it pos- 
sible to go instantly not only from Forty- 
second Street to Yonkers, but also to Wee- 
hauken and Kokomo. I shall stand back and 

“Even in time we’ll be able to make it a 
step to Hondagua!” I said feverishly. 

Then his grin froze. But he did not say a 
word. He simply went back to the alterations 
he was making on the pocket-universe gen- 
erator in which he had put a mouse. His face 
looked peaked and bitter, just because I’d 
mentioned Hondagua, which reminded him 
of the Presidente. I’d put his mind back on 
his own past. 

I wish I hadn’t done that! 

Trouble for Guttierez 

T HE President of Hondagua came to New 
York two days later, and he was news. 
It wasn’t the regular sort of news, either, or 
the regular polite newspaper tributes to an 
admirable if small-sized good neighbor south 
of the Equator. 

That first letter to the editor of my paper 
had started things. Such letters don’t often 
mean much. This one pointed straight to a 
story. The other papers picked it up. And 
then they spread that story all over the New 
York front pages, and it went on from there. 

One paper headlined its story, “Hondaguan 
Fuehrer in New York.” The mildest of them 
called him “Dictator,” which is a nasty word 
these days. 

They had dug into the perfectly available 
facts about the administration of Hondagua, 
and they exposed the Presidente with beauti- 
ful clarity as a fascist, a grafter, a murderer 
and a cheap crook who had just sold out his 
followers at home in exchange for a getaway 
for himself and his loot. 

A Senator got up in Congress and attacked 
the Administration for letting him enter the 
country, in spite of the fact that he was still 

legally the chief executive of a friendly 
nation. There was a terrific row because his 
baggage had, by diplomatic courtesy, been 
allowed to enter the country without cus- 
toms inspection. 

Instead of a perfunctory account of his ar- 
rival and a non-enthusiastic story of his 
greeting by the Mayor, there was a corps 
of reporters and cameramen to meet him, 
there were pictures of him on every front 
page in town, and the stories were blistering. 

He went to the Walderbilt Hotel, where a 
suite had been reserved for him and his at- 
tendants, and where the Hondaguan flag was 
promptly hung out with due ritual to indi- 
cate his presence. And the story didn’t die 
there. The papers kept leg-men on the job 
and every detail of his activities splashed 
the front page. 

He was an inordinately fat man, swarthy, 
with the worst hard-boiled look I’ve ever 
seen in a half-tone picture. He posed in uni- 
form and a saber, with vast dignity, for the 
press photographers. Apparently he couldn’t 
read English and none of his attendants dared 
tell him what was being printed about him. 
His attendants were a motley crew, them- 

The afternoon papers described in detail 
the row in the service section of the Walder- 
bilt when some of his uniformed attendants 
insisted on remaining with his baggage every 
minute and even riding up in the service 
elevators with it. There were pictures. One 
photographer had irritated such a guard to 
the point where his picture was snapped with 
his hand on the revolver in his holster and a 
menacing scowl on his face. 

Next morning the morning papers carried 
the story of another row. The Presidente had 
ordered feminine entertainers sent up to his 
suite for what was apparently to have been a 
party. They didn’t appear and he raised Cain. 
But then somebody apparently got nerve 
enough to tell him what the papers were 
saying, and he shut up like a clam. He passed 
twenty-four hours in his suite without once 
peeping out of it or making a single request 
for service that the newspapers could use. 

But they didn’t let up on him. They re- 
published pictures of the armed guard over 
his baggage. They made estimates of the 
amount of money and loot the Nazis had 
sent to Hondagua, and they credited him 
with having stolen all of it. 

Then they estimated the amount of money 
he had managed to extort in his own country 


while ruling it, and they asked if that many 
millions of dollars had been brought in un- 
der the cloak of diplomatic immunity, and 
would he be allowed to get away with it. 

The election which was to choose his suc- 
cessor hadn’t yet been held, but it was re- 
ported that Hondagua was a madhouse. There 
was already a provisional government in 
power which ignored Guttierez’s legal status, 
and every boat leaving the country was 
packed, and every packtrail out of the nation 
crowded, with former followers of the Presi- 
dents trying to get away from retribution. 

1 WENT into Santos’ laboratory, bringing 
him some stuff he’d asked me to get. I 
found six other Latin-Americans sitting 
in there listening as he talked to them in 
Spanish. They turned poker-faces to me 
when I came in, but Santos introduced me — 
all Spanish names like Calderon and Ybarra 
and so on — and they relaxed. Then he ex- 
plained expansively to me. 

“These are my old friends and comrades in 
arms, amigo,” he said. “We had lost touch, 
but the coming of Guttierez to New York 
made us seek each other out. Now, with the 
storm of newspaper comment, we have de- 
cided that something must happen to him. 
The American Government will surely take 
away his wealth. Probably he will be ar- 
rested and extradited to Hondagua as a com- 
mon criminal. I would like to be there when 
the mob gets hold of him!” 

The faces of the other six went studiedly 
expressionless. I wouldn’t like anybody to 
hate me that much! 

“We met here for political debate,” Santos 
went on with evident pleasure. “I invited 
them also to witness a demonstration of my 
discovery. I fear that they look upon it as 
conjuring, but it pleases me to show off first 
to my countrymen.” 

I put down the stuff I’d brought — mainly 
a lot of those small storage B-batteries they 
used to use in portable radios. They’re hard 
to find, nowadays. And Santos staged his 

He went through all the stuff I’d seen, and 
then he pulled a new one. He’d evidently 
put aside the small contrivance I’d last seen 
him working on, and he’d made a gadget — 
a diamagnet or whatever it ought to be 
called — a thing that closed space around it- 
self in a pocket universe when it was turned 
on — that was extendible. It worked some- 
what like a n autograph arm. It closed ud to 

about three feet in length, but he could ex- 
pand it to quite five times that length. And 
at all lengths it wrapped space around itself 
and ceased to exist in our universe. As he 
showed us. 

“I am almost ashamed of this,” he told me 
apologetically. “It is a device which a burglar 
would be delighted to own.” 

He turned on the switch and the thing van- 
ished. In its stead there was that odd ap- 
pearance of wrongness which I’ve explained, 
but can’t possibly make you really imagine. 
And he worked the control on the handle, and 
it stretched out and thinned. It reached all 
the way across the laboratory. 

Then he put his hand into one end of it 
and — of course — it came out on the other 
side of the room and picked something up. 
He showed it where he stood and put it in 
his pocket. Then he grinned at his com- 
panions — they had a hard time looking poker- 
faced — and he pointed it at the floor. It went 
through the floor as the first one had gone 
through the newspaper without tearing it, 
and he brought up something from the labo- 
ratory downstairs, and then put it back. 
Finally he pointed the slender rod of nothing 
at an electric-light bulb, and he put a quarter 
in it. This done, he turned off the switch. 

When you think of it, putting that quarter 
inside an unbroken electric-light bulb was, 
all by itself, enough to make you hold your 
head in your hands and groan. But Santos’ 
friends chuckled. They slapped each other 
on the back. They roared with laughter. 
Santos looked at them with a queer tight 
grin on his face and his eyes shining. , 

Abruptly they filed out and Santos turned 
to me. 

“I know that you think it was childish, but 
they are my old comrades,” he said apolo- 
getically. “They have as much to forget about 
this Guttierez as I have. To make them 
amused, even for a little while, is worth 

I didn’t say anything. I pointed to the 
parcel I had brought — to the small-sized 
storage B-batteries out of the kind of port- 
able radio that isn’t made any more. 

“I got the batteries you wanted,” I told 
him. Then I said urgently: “Listen, Santos! 

I can get hold of some people to see a demon- 
stration of that thing when you’re willing to 
show it, but first you’ve got to get at least 
a patent application in. Do that, and I’ll 
guarantee that there’ll be all the money you 
need to start using it.” 


S ANTOS looked at me, and there was re- 
serve in his manner. 

"Bueno! But tell me what use you will put 
it to.” 

"For one thing, there’ll be no slums,” I 
said earnestly. “People live in crowded places 
so they can get to and from their work. With 
this discovery of yours, distance simply hasn’t 
any more meaning.. There won’t be any more 
subways. There won’t be any more of the 
nastiness that just having to live near this 
place or that now makes inevitable. 

“For another, there’ll be no more mines. 
You can push one of these things down to 
a vein of ore just as easily as you pushed it 
down into Dobson’s laboratory below you, 
and the ore will be just the same as at the 
surface. Mining can be done cleanly, in the 

“There won’t be any more hatreds between 
nations when it is possible for anybody in the 
world to step through a doorway and for an 
afternoon see that the people in other coun- 
tries are the same sort of people he is. And 
I think that there won’t be many degraded, 
graft-ridden governments when people can 
see that they aren’t necessary. That’s part of 
it, but there’s a lot more. There’s — ” 

Santos’ face broke out into a genuine smile, 
and his eyes were warm and friendly. 

‘‘Bueno, that is enough!” he said. He shook 
hands with me, impulsively. “You are muy 
amigo mio. You shall see to all of that! But 
there is a little thing first, just one little thing, 
and then I will place myself in your hands. 
You brought the little batteries. Excellent! 
I would not have known where to seek them.” 
He seemed astonished and pleased that I 
had found exactly the sort of batteries he 
needed. They’re hard to find. They’re away 
out of date. 

But if you want to know, of all the mistakes 
I made in the whole affair, finding those 
storage B -batteries is the one I’m sorriest for. 
If I hadn’t done that, all might yet be well. 

Santos vanished for eight days. He didn’t 
go to the Institute or his laboratory. I didn’t 
know where he lived, but I managed to find 
out and went there. His landlady told me 
that he had packed his bags and had de- 
parted on a short trip. He had told her he’d 
be gone a week. 

He’d ridden off in a cab all by himself, and 
she was holding his mail against when he 
came back. I scribbled a note, saying: 

I’m sweating blood, wondering if you’re going 
to be run over by a truck. Call me when you get 

back. You’re pretty important for the sort of 
world I want to see.” 

I signed it and left the note with her. 

But it was eight days before he telephoned 
me. And in those eight days I had one long- 
continued case of jitters. 

You remember the newspapers? You know 
what a holiday they had with the Presidente 
of Hondagua? And you probably remember 
the ending, — according to the newspapers. 

They had it very nearly right until the very 
end, but you’ll be able to fill in what they 
missed from what I’ve already told you. 

The tumult and the shouting about Gut- 
tierez grew louder and more specific. Planes 
had put correspondents down in Hondagua 
in a hurry, and for the first time in eighteen 
years people dared to tell the truth. It had 
been the tightest totalitarian government in 
the world outside of Hitler’s, minus the party 

There wasn’t any party line. There weren’t 
any principles the gang that ran the country 
even pretended to believe in. They’d had 
that country under their thumb, and they’d 
pinched it. They’d milked it. They’d almost 
literally bled it white. 

The stuff that came out of the capital city 
would make your hair curl. And it became 
so clearly evident that Guttierez had made a 
deal to save his own skin and loot, and it 
looked so much like his carefully-guarded 
baggage contained not only his own loot but 
Nazi money too, that the newspapers began 
to howl to high heaven that his diplomatic 
immunity ought to be scrapped and his 
baggage looked into. 

Then a prominent firm of Latin- American 
bankers announced that a very large sum, 
running into many millions of dollars, had 
been placed in their hands as a trust, to be 
used for the benefit of the people and the na- 
tion of Hondagua. 

There was a moment’s pause, and then a 
renewed howl. So Guttierez was trying to 
turn back part of his loot to beg off, eh? 

The New York newspapers — always de- 
lighted with a scandal which did not hit the 
home town — sounded off. Then the Latin- 
American bankers issued a dignified state- 
ment that the money was not put into their 
hands by Guttierez, but by a committee of 
former Hondaguans who had been Guttierez’s 
bitterest enemies and were political exiles 
from that country. 

Then the works really blew up. The Presi- 
dent of Hondagua apparently went out of his 


head, in his suite in the Walderbilt. The 
management heard shooting, and the mem- 
bers of his train popped out of every door and 
ran like rabbits. They were scared! 

Guttierez bellowed hoarsely that he had 
been robbed. He marched out into the corri- 
dors of the hotel with a revolver in each hand, 
frothing at the mouth and hunting for those 
who had robbed him. 

Santos Evens the Score 

A MERICAN detectives finally got to Gut- 
tierez, who panting and purple with 
rage, swore that his luggage had been 
looted in his own suite and by his own fol- 
lowers. He was a hard-boiled egg, and no 
mistake. He actually and literally foamed 
at the mouth. 

His baggage had arrived and it was intact. 
He had made sure of that himself. Somebody 
had stood guard over it day and night — two 
men at a time, because he didn’t trust any 
one person too much. Those who came off 
guard were searched in his presence. 

But he had been robbed of every peso he 
had brought with him, and he bellowed that 
he had brought — well — so many millions that 
nobody believed it until it was pointed out 
that the sum just passed on to be spent for 
Hondaguan progress happened to be exactly 
that same amount. But the firm of Latin- 
American bankers simply said sedately that 
it was an interesting coincidence, but no com- 
ment could be made. 

Guttierez wasn’t through, though. He was 
ruined, discredited, penniless, and disgraced. 
But he wanted to get even. He demanded 
that the police and the FBI find out who had 
robbed him and turn them over to him for 

The FBI politely consented to examine his 
luggage for clues, and there was another pay- 

Guttierez had looked into every emptied 
trunk and strong-box. Of course! But when 
the FBI examined them they found confiden- 
tial papers that Guttierez would definitely 
not have wanted them to see. What they 
didn’t prove was not worth proving. 

For one thing, they put the works beauti- 
fully on certain persons — not originally from 

Hondagua — who had tried valiantly to de- 
fend Guttierez from what they called a 
“smear attack” in the newspapers. The FBI 
was very, very much interested. But it was 
polite to Guttierez. 

It left him in his suite with a guard of 
American police to assure that he would not 
be molested. The guard also made sure that 
he would not go out by himself or, in fact, 
that he would not go out at all. 

With that guard at the door, the next day 
Guttierez was found dead. Very dead. Con- 
clusively dead. Nobody had heard any loud 
noise, but Guttierez was a horrifying corpse 
because his expression screwed into an ap- 
palling grimace of superstitious terror. He 
hadn’t died of fright, though. He’d been 
killed, by somebody who had made quite 

All this took a week to happen. On the 
eighth day Santos phoned me. I took a cab 
and went streaking to his laboratory. His 
expression had 1 ' changed. It was somehow 
relaxed and infinitely calm now. It was so 
calm I stared in surprise. He grinned at me. 

“Hola, muy amigo mio!” he said cheerfully. 
“Que hay?” 

I swallowed. All of a sudden I knew the 
truth. I sat down, feeling sickish. 

“You’ve been talking so much Spanish 
lately that you forget I don’t understand it,” 
I faltered. “Do you feel better now?” 

He nodded. He watched me alertly. 

“No,” I said bitterly. “I’m not going to 
tell the police. Why should I? He rated it, 
Guttierez did. But you took the devil of a 
chance! You could have been killed. Do you 
realize that you’re the only man in the world 
who knows how to make a diamagnet?” 

“And that is important?” asked Santos 

“It’s mighty important!” I said bitterly. 
“You’ve no right to risk your life.” 

“There was no risk,” he assured me. “The 
American wife of one of my friends rented 
the suite two floors below his. The one above 
or the one below might have seemed. sus- 
picious, but two floors below — that was safe.” 

“You’ve had your fling,” I said angrily. 
“You used that extensible contrivance, and 
made a pocket universe that reached from 
the inside of his baggage to where you were. 
You absorbed the space between. And you 
looted his luggage from the inside, took the 
proceeds and put them in a fund to be used 
for the progress of Hondagua. Incidentally, 
the people of Hondagua make a profit, be- 


cause a lot of that money was originally 

“It is not profit,” said Santos. “It means 
such things as schools and doctors and hon- 
esty, which they should have had a long 
time ago.” 

M Y EXPRESSION must have told him 
how much I knew. 

“And somewhere among his possessions, 
there was a lot of incriminating stuff, which 
you took with the loot,” I insisted. “After 
he’d found everything was gone, you put it 
back for the FBI to find.” 

“But naturally,” said Santos in tranquil 
tones. “It exposed other villians. I do not 
like scoundrels.” 

“So you fight them,” I said, “with the 
technic of a super-burglar!” 

I did not say anything about the killing of 
Guttierez. That wasn’t my business. But I 
could understand the expression of appalling, 
superstitious horror his dead face had worn. 
He’d seen materialize before him in thin air 
the faces of men he’d wronged and whom 
he’d believed dead. And they’d talked to him 
before he died. 

“You used the technic of a super-burglar,” 
I repeated bitterly. “You risked the most 
valuable life in the world!” 

His grin was wryly affectionate. He was a 
dried-up little runt of a Latin-American, but 
I liked Santos, and he knew it. 

“I am rebuked,” he said ruefully. “Your 
viewpoint is not mine, amigo. You think of 
people you do not know and who would prob- 
ably bore you to death. I think of — the things 
that seem important to me. But your view- 
point is sound.” 

He seemed to debate a little. 

“I plan one additional experiment,” he said 
presently, “I must make it before I prepare 
to publish my discovery and apply for what 
patents you shall advise me to ask. I am sure 
it is perfectly safe. I have proved it. But I 
will take most elaborate precautions.” 
“What the devil are you going to do now?” 
I asked hotly. 

He told me and I raged. But he grinned 
at me as I stormed up and down his labora- 
tory, reminding him that he was a man and 
not a mouse, and calling him a traitor to the 
future. But he grinned on and repeated that 
he would take precautions. The most elabo- 
rate ones. 

Next morning, early, I got a note from him: 
Amigo mio: 


To spare you worry, I am making my ex- 
periment tonight. As you know, I plan to en- 
close myself in one of the areas of space which 
becomes a closed universe when its diamagnet is 
turned on. 

For the purpose I have made a diamagnet 
large enough to contain me in its field, and I 
shall energize it with the storage-batteries you 
procured for me. I shall have the switch in- 
side, and turn it on, and then immediately turn 
it off again. Nothing can possibly happen to 
harm me. 

I enclosed a mouse so, and it was not harmed 
or even disturbed by the experience, though I 
left it in the closed universe as long as I thought 
the air would suffice it. 

But I am taking other precautions. I have 
written out a complete account of the theory 
of the diamagnet, and exact instructions for 
manufacture. I would leave it in a desk drawer, 
but you would reproach me. 

So I have placed it in the small universe- 
generator I made for the mouse experiment. 
I place a single tiny storage-battery with it, and 
a clock will turn off the current at precisely 
noon tomorrow. I have made a practical device 
which even you did not think of! A truly bur- 
glar-proof safe! 

If I am not in my laboratory when you arrive, 
you will be able to find how to duplicate all my 
results at noon. But I shall be there, and we 
will have lunch together. 

As the greatest of possible precautions, and 
so you inay not reproach me for carelessness, 
the two remaining smaller diamagnets — includ- 
ing the one for burglary — will go into the en- 
closed space with me for one-half of a second. 

And because you might be absurd about it, I 
especially enjoin you to proceed to bring about 
the happier world you envision if the unthink- 
able should occur and disaster befall me. But 
actually, I shall be waiting for you for lunch. 

Tuyo atto. y ajfm. amigo! 

I went to the laboratory. I don’t know ex- 
actly why, but I was in a cold sweat all the 
way. And Santos wasn’t there. 

There was a big space, over by the work- 
table, that somehow looked wrong any way 
you looked at it. It was big enough for Santos 
to be in. The stand which held the contriv- 
ance upright when it was turned off was 
visible underneath, like the handle of his 
portable gadgets, and like the wires which 
had led into the first one of all. 

But Santos hadn’t turned it off. If he’d used 
a plug to a power outlet, I could have cut it 
off myself. But he’d used the storage bat- 
teries. There wasn’t any way to get into it. 
There isn’t any way to get in. He’s in a closed 
universe. A pocket-sized closed universe, to 
be sure, but nevertheless a tight one. 

F OR the rest of it, there was the little 
thing he’d made for his mouse experi- 
ment. That was on its stand, too, and that 



hasn’t turned off either. 

I stayed in the laboratory all that day and 
night and the next day, waiting for one or 
the other to turn off. Neither one has. That’s 
been three months ago, — and no tiny storage- 
battery, constantly working, would hold a 
charge for three months! It would have ex- 
hausted itself, normally. 

Of course the two things themselves are 
perfectly demonstrable pocket universes. You 
can do with them every experiment we first 
tried on the very first diamagnet of all. 

Sooner or later, if neither one turns off, I’ll 
explain what I can and prove what I say by 
them, and they’ll be put in museums and 
taken care of and studied and so on. But I 
feel rather sick. 

You see, the people of Hondagua have a 
lot of money that’s going to be spent for them 
by people who want it to do some good, and 
it’s a small country, and there are enough 
millions for it to make a big difference. 

But there’s Santos! Hang it, I liked the 
man! And until he comes out of that pocket 

universe, nobody will get any benefit from 
his discovery! But there’s no way in the 
world to speed up the turning of that 
switch. . . . 

He’ll come out, all right. He only expected 
to stay in there for half a second, and he’s 
been in there three months, and of course he 
took no provisions and also of course there’s 
been no fresh supply of air. But he’ll come 
out. That battery on the little diamagnet 
couldn’t have an atom of power by this time, 
but it’s still on and it’s been on for three 

So I don’t think the clock has stopped or 
that Santos is dead. 

They’re in little closed spaces, little pocket 
universes, which are strictly their own. And 
we don’t know any of the constants of such 
small closed universes. 

For instance, so far as Santos is concerned, 
we don’t know how many months or years 
or centuries in the time of this universe will 
have to pass, before a half-second has gone 
by in that. 




Another Astonishing Complete Novelet 


Coming Next Issue — Plus Many Other Unusual Stories! 



Dave Tenninq, a born rebel, felt that he did not really 
belong in this Futureworld which was tired of rebellion / 

I'll fight,” Dave promised. “I'll stop all this. 

T HE first thing he did when he felt free 
from pursuit was to head for a news- 
stand. He wanted to know the date. 
He didn’t know how long he’d been in the 
Chateau D’lf, because after the first year or 
so there wasn’t much point in keeping track. 

There simply wasn’t any way of escaping. 
Edmond Dantes had got out of the original 
D’lf, but such a trick wouldn’t work twice. 
When the — guests — died in this particular 
guest house there was a quick cremation in 
the basement somewhere. 

That was one of the distressing sparse 
scraps of information he had managed to pick 
up during his period of imprisonment. Not 
once, in that long time, had he left the win- 
dowless single room with its nearly luxurious 
furnishings and completely luxurious Sia- 
mese cat, Shan, who had kept him from utter 

It had been a wrench to leave Shan, but 
her devotion was given to things, not people, 
and it had been no imprisonment for her. 
The miracle that had enabled him to escape 



was not one that could be extended indefi- 
nitely. He took the chance when it came, and 
got out while the after-rumblings of the 
explosion were still sounding from below. 

He didn’t know what it was but the science 
of the big boys who ran the place was slight- 
ly super. 

He got out in a sack that was piled with a 
dozen others on an elevator platform, and 
after that, for a while, he depended on his 
senses of touch and hearing for orientation. 
He didn’t learn much. But he had an idea 
that the sacks were dealt with by automatic 

The helicopter had automatic controls, 
anyway— as he discovered after getting out 
of the sack. He had a bad moment or two 
mastering the enormously simplified gadgets. 
Copters had been mighty complicated in 1945, 
and he was inclined to make too difficult a 
job of it. 

The panel exploded into lights and yelps 
before he grounded. So that must have been 
the tip-off. They’d be after him now, the big 
boys who’d kept him in D’lf for years. Oh, 
very comfortably. He was in perfect physical 
condition. Special lamps and treatments took 
care of him physically and mentally. A tele- 
visor gave him education and entertainment. 
There were books. 

But he never saw or read anything released 
later than June, 1945. Maybe that was why 
worry hadn’t eaten into his brain and nerves. 
He didn’t feel quite so much left out of things. 
He knew, of course, that the world was mov- 
ing on, but he didn’t see it move. That 

The copter grounded in a ploughed field. 
It was night, but there was a full moon. Sil- 
houettes against a dim glow told him that 
there was a city not too far away. The air- 
ship shot up and went away. It had no lights, 
and was swiftly lost as it kept going up, 
apparently heading for the stratosphere. 

He took several deep breaths. Then he felt 
nonexistent eyes on him; the skin of his back 
contracted — and he knew that he was fugi- 

It was different, but it wasn’t so different. 
The basics were still there. There were peo- 
ple, and the styles in clothing hadn’t changed 
too much. He wore a duplicate of the same 
suit he’d had on in 1945, that June day when 
they’d come for him, the big boys. The big 
boys who’d sat outside and waited, their faces 
hidden, while their strong-arm men — appro- 
priated — Terming. 

‘I am Dave Terming’ he thought, and there 
was a little shock of novelty. He had got out 
of the habit of thinking of himself in any per- 
sonal sense. In fact, the calm, confident real- 
ization of personal identity had gradually 
vanished during the term of his imprison- 
ment, Like a baby, he had become almost 

unconscious of ego. There had been no need 
for its assertion. 

7 am Dave Terming ^ but there is another 
Dave Tenning.’ 

That was where reality left off and the ter- 
ror began. It had never seemed quite real 
till now, the knowledge that an alter ego was 
walking in the outside world. Because there 
hadn’t been any outside world, really, after a 
while — it moved away from him in time, and 
the people in it, even those he had known 
intimately, were less real than the sensuous 
detachment of Siamese Shan. 

WW IS clothes were all right. Nobody stared 
at him. He hadn’t any money, of course, 
and that was a handicap, but not an insur- 
mountable one. The boys at the Star would 
stake him. But he must be careful not to en- 
counter the pseudo Dave Tenning, until he 
was ready. Maybe he’d need a gun. These 
doppelgangers could be killed. They always 
died when their originals did. 

That was why the originals were kept 
alive, and in good physical and mental shape. 
There was some vital bond, something psy- 
chic, a dynamo of life-force in the Original 
that kept the Carbon Copy going by induc- 
tion. He’d theorized in that direction, any- 
how, and it checked pretty well. 

But he felt funny, because this wasn’t his 
world any more. He kept thinking that the 
men and women who passed him would stop 
and glance and then there’d be an outcry — 
just what he didn’t know, except that he 
didn’t belong here. In 1945 he’d belonged, all 

He knew why they’d snatched him, too. 
A gossip columnist has potentialities of pow- 
er. They wanted men — doppelgangers — in 
key places. They had a lot of them, undoubt- 
edly. 1945 had been a crucial year. It was 
one of the few times when Pandora’s box had 
been opened, when too much was available 
to a wide-eyed civilization. 

Germany was on her knees, Japan going 
down, and the post-war world had been a 
bogey. Not because there was so much to do, 
but because there were so very many ways 
of doing it. It wasn’t Pandora’s box — it was 
a grab-bag. 

The social problems were far tougher than 
technological ones, because the human basics 
remained unaltered, and people don’t change 
as fast as things. You could have planned 
on a dehydrated chicken in every pot, but the 
change-over, the conversion of the social set- 
up was another matter. 

It didn’t look as though much had changed 
— not really. 

He even recognized places. There were 
some new buildings, though not many. The 
automobiles had a different design, without 
streamlining, were more pleasing to the eye. 


Buses without drivers moved close to the 
curb and stopped at intervals. The lamp- 
posts gave a different sort of light. Shop- 
windows showed clothes, sporting goods, 
liquors, toys, nothing radically different. 

But it was the small changes that made the 
city alien to Tenning. He didn’t belong. Also, 
he knew that somewhere was another Dave 
Tenning, who had supplanted him, and that 
realization partially erased his consciousness 
of ego. 

He had a momentary, unlikely sense of 
guilt — as though he had interfered with the 
rightness of the plan by escaping from D’lf. 
You’re a stranger, the people said as they 
went by without looking at him. You’re a 

‘Stranger, hardly. I lived eight years in 
this town. I came here from a New York rag, 
and people read my column. So it wasn’t 
Winchell or Pyle or Dan Walker. I never pre- 
tended to be anything more than a second- 
string columnist. I was read at breakfast, 
over the coffee, and people got a bang out of 
the muck I raked. 

‘I’m Dave Tenning, and for years or cen- 
turies I’ve been locked up in a comfortable 
little prison with a Shangri-La library and 
a cat named Shan who didn’t give a hoot 
about anything except a cat named Shan. 
The ghost walks. Just where he’s bound I 
don’t know, but he’s looking for some threads 
to pick up. The date, for example.’ 

The newsstand had regular papers and it 
also had small, thick disks of plastic or glazed 
cardboard. Tenning stopped to stare. The 

Fish decern 7. And so what? 

“Paper, mister?” the man in the booth said. 
“Sheet or roto?” 

“Look,” Tenning said. “What’s the date?” 


He wanted to ask another question, but he 
didn’t. He turned and went on, wondering 
about Seven. Year Seven? Not Anno Domi- 
ni. So? 

The little things, like this, would be the 
hardest to pick up. People don’t change, they 
just grow older. But fads and gadgets and 
trivia alter fast, even to the point of becoming 
unrecognizable. And he still didn’t know 
what year it was. 

The heck with it. This was Gardner Street, 
and he knew where the Star building was. 
He hopped one of the robot buses when it 
stopped and wanted a cigarette. He was in- 
active for the first time since his escape, but 
his nerves weren’t. 

Nobody in the bus was smoking. He hadn’t 
seen anybody smoking. 

The Star building was still there, big, old 
and, surprisingly, dark. The electric banner 
on the roof was gone. Tenning walked up the 
steps and rattled the ancient doors. They 

were locked. He stood, hesitating. 

This time he was really scared. A chased 
fox goes to earth, but if he finds his burrow 
blocked up, that’s bad. Tenning automatic- 
ally reached into his pockets, one after an- 
other. They were all empty. 

A HEAVY-SET man strolling along the 
street paused to look up at him. Dia- 
mond-points of light showed under over- 
hanging brows. 

“That place closes at tilth,” the man said. 

Tenning glanced back at the locked doors. 



“It— does?” 

“Government offices,” the man said, shrug- 
ging. “They run by schedule. No use trying 
to get in. Not till fen in the morning, any- 

Tenning came down the steps. 

“I thought this was the Star building.” 

“No,” the assured, quiet voice said. “Not 
any more. We thought you’d come here, 

Tenning’s poised, singing nerves went 
wham. His fist made a similar sound as it hit 
the man’s jaw, and Tenning followed up that 
one good blow with several others. He struck 
with panic and hysteria. The sound ol 
alarmed voices made him realize that his 
opponent was down, and that figures were 
closing in. 

He knew the streets and alleys and got 
away easily. That relieved him a bit. His 
pursuers were simply casuals. If they’d been 
men from D’lf, he wouldn’t have escaped 
without a lot more trouble. 

So they knew, and they were on his track. 
Fine. He wanted a gun. He wanted a big 
bludgeon with spikes in it. He wanted poison 
gas and block-busters and flame-throwers. 
Most of all he wanted a hideout. 

It was the familiarity of the city that was 
dangerous. The little things were different, 
and they were the ones that could betray 
him. He might find himself taking too much 
for granted, because this alley he was in 
looked just like the Poplar Way he used to 
know, and as he walked along, a paving- 
stone might suddenly fly away with him and 
take him back to D’lf and the cat. 

He went down to Skid Row, and that hadn’t 
changed. The people had. He didn’t know 
any of them. Maybe, in a different social set- 
up, different people would be hanging on the 
ropes. But was this another set-up? 

There was a cheesy sort of beer-garden in 
back, and he went there and wondered about 
things. Customers were paying for their 
drinks with tokens of some sort. Under a 
bedraggled potted tree a girl was sitting 
alone at a table, nursing a highball. 

They looked at each other. The waiter ap- 



peared, and Tenning hastily got up and went 
to the telephone booth. But it held gadgets 
and no directory, so he came out again and 
stood helplessly hesitating. 

He went over to the girl. She looked lost, 

“Look,” Tenning said, “can I sit down?” 
“Never . . . works out,” she said. “I can’t 
keep up with it. You’re not the man, you 

She was drunk, plenty drunk. But she 
held it well and managed to look pretty. 

“Sit down,” she said after a while. “Are 
you lost too?” 

“Yeah. Lost and broke. I want a nickel to 
make a phone call.” 

Her blue eyes went wide. She laughed, not 
pleasantly. And she called the waiter. 

“Two highballs.” 

Tenning waited. The drink tasted good, 
but it lacked schmaltz. Non-intoxicating al- 
cohol, he theorized. 

“What about it?” he asked. “Thanks for 
the drink. But what I really want — ” 

“You can’t make a phone call that far 
back,” she said, and Tenning’s spine jammed 
itself together and felt cold. His fingers tight- 
ened on the glass. He said gently, 

“What do you mean?” 

“I miss it too. I grew up in the wrong 
time. Some people just can’t adjust. We’re 
a couple of them. I’m Mary. You?” 

“Dave,” he said, waiting for a reaction. 
But there was none. 

She didn’t know, then. How could she? 
The whole world wasn’t spying on him. The 
whole world wasn’t in league with D’lf. That 
cat strolling across the bricks wasn’t really in 
telepathic touch with Shan, reporting the 
whereabouts of the escaped prisoner. 

“Why can’t you make a phone call?” he 

“It wouldn’t be worth it. Building phones 
just for people like us. We’ll die, Dave. We 
can’t propagate. They don’t try to harm us, 
because we’re not in the way. If you don’t 
fit in — okay. Get drunk and think about 
Andy. You don’t know Andy.” 


She laughed. 

“He died, and I didn’t. Or vice versa. I’ve 
never seen you around here before.” 

“I’ve been — out of town. For a long time.” 
“I never bothered to go.” 

“The telephone — ” 

“You know how they work nowadays,” she 
said, “and what they call ’em.” 

Tenning was looking at a clock, high on 
the wall. He couldn’t make much of the 
numerals. They weren’t numerals. They 
were arbitrary signs. 

“Sela plus,” Mary said, “so we’ve plenty of 
time. Andy won’t come. I told you he was 

Hr HE little things are important. They 
-*■ made up their own dates, their own hour- 
names. Why? So people would be just a bit 
unsure, perhaps. Or, maybe, because time- 
names were a common denominator, and by 
changing those, the people were gradually 
turned into a different path. 

There would be no sudden, tremendous 
metamorphosis. Tall cities would not spring 
skyward overnight. Ships would not fly to 
the planets. Because people change more 
slowly than things. Chaos and revolution fol- 
low renaissance. If the people have power. 

In 1945 there had been power to waste. 
There had been a hundred plans for rebuild- 
ing a new world. And each had its own back- 
ers, many of them fanatical. 

Harding was elected because he promised 
normalcy. After war, men were tired. They 
wanted to crawl back into a 1912 womb. They 
didn’t want experiments that might upset 
their lives further. 

Even before Japan went down, the road to 
the future was clear — a hundred plans, and a 
hundred fanatics. And weapons of power. 
If one plan had been chosen, there would 
have been opposition, and deadly danger to 
civilization. Because, by 1945, technology 
had developed weapons that were too peril- 
ous to be used — except by fanatics. 

On one point everyone agreed — the Hard- 
ing platform. Pre-war security. The good 
old way of life. It was easy to tuj-n propa- 
ganda in that direction. Men wanted to rest. 

So they rested, and Utopia did not come. 
But there were signs. 

Streamlining was not functional for sur- 
face vehicles. It wasn’t used. 

Alcoholic drinks were, after a while, in- 
toxicating, but without toxic effects. 

Fish decern 7. 

Sela plus. 

But in the open — nothing. People were 
contented and secure. They had their old, 
safe way of life. Perhaps subconsciously they 
were being conditioned otherwise. They took 
it for granted now that this was Fish decern 7. 

A few misfits, who couldn’t get used to the 
psych-phones — 

He’d been a reporter, so he picked the 
scoop out of Mary after a while. It took quite 
a few drinks. And he had to keep turning 
the subject away from Andy, who was dead, 
but who used to do a lot of things in the old 
days, when telephones were still used. 

“People are different,” Mary said. “It’s like 
... I don’t know. They’ve got something on 
their minds. But I don’t know what it is. I 
remember in school everybody was tremen- 
dously excited one time about beating Tech 
High in the big game. 

“I didn’t care. But everybody else did. 
There was a sort of undercurrent. They were 
all working for that, deep inside of them, and 


I couldn’t see it. Suppose we didn’t win? 
What about it?” 

“Antisocial,” Tenning said. 

“There’s something in the air now. Every- 
body’s working to beat Tech High. Except 
me, and — ” She made a gesture. “People like 
us aren’t even in the way.” 

“I used to work on the Star,” he said. “It 
moved, didn’t it?” 

“All the papers moved, of course. They’re 
published from somewhere. Only nobody 
knows where.” 

“Do you — read the Star?” 

“I don’t want to read anything.” 

“I was thinking about a columnist . . . 

She shrugged. 

“I know about him. He isn’t with the Star 
now. He spotcasts.” 

“That’s ... a radio—” 

“Not any more. Tenning’s a hot shot now, 
Dave. Everybody listens to him.” 

“What does he talk about?” 

“Gossip. And politics. People listen — ” 

'^T'EAH, people listen to that dirty ringer, 
■*- and he moulds public opinion. He moulds 
it the way the big boys want. That’s why 
they grabbed me in nineteen forty-five. I 
wasn’t at the top then, but I had the public 
ear. I was getting good audience reactions. 
Spotting key men to work out their plan for 
them — 

Ringers, doppelgangers, in the right places. 
Painless psychology, sugar-coated propagan- 
da. And a world moving, leaving Dave Ten- 
ning behind, a simply immense sphere be- 
ginning to turn from its course, gathering 
momentum as a thousand doppelgangers 
shoved it along. 

Okay. Maybe the plan itself was good. 
But Dave Tenning had been the prisoner of 
Chillon for a long time. 

“I’ve got friends — or I used to have ’em,” 
he said. “Mary, how can I get in touch with 
a guy named Pelham?” 

“I don’t know.” 

“Royce Pelham. He used to publish the 

“Have another drink.” 

“This is important.” 

She stood up. 

“Okay, Dave. I’ll fix it.” 

And she went to the psych-phone booth. 
Tenning sat and waited. 

It was a warm night. His glass, cooled by 
induction, felt pleasant in his palm. A Skid 
Row beer-garden, smelly, not too clean, with 
moribund potted trees looking dissipated in 
the moonlight. 

Welcome home, Dave Tenning. Welcome 
back to life. No brass band, but so what? 
The brass band is out serenading Dave Ten- 
nine II. The oseudo-man who made good. 

Offbeat music swung crazy, boogie rhythms 
somewhere, hitting the blue chord hard. 
Mary reappeared, looking pale. 

“I kept thinking of Andy,” she said, “be- 
fore he died. He got to liking those psych- 
phones. I never can get to.” 

After 1945, did people really want the old- 
style life? Or was the social growth, the 
evolutionary trend, still stirring? The super- 
ficialities came back. But people seemed to 
like new things — if they weren’t too new, if 
they didn’t seem to point the way to Change. 
Before a baby can run, it must be taught to 
walk, its fears overcome. 

“Pelham?” Tenning said. 

“Wela tee Carib Street.” 

“How — how do I get there?” 

She told him. He still looked baffled. Mary 
finished her drink. 

“Oh, I’ll show you. It’s something to do. 
But we’ll come back here later.” 

They caught a bus — no fares were collect- 
ed — and finally got to a comfortable, old- 
fashioned house in the suburbs. Mary said 
she’d wait in the corner drug-store and drink 
a chang. Tenning was wondering about the 
color of a chang as he rang the bell. 

Old Pelham himself opened the d»or. He 
was smaller, a trifle shrunken, and complete- 
ly bald now. His heavy face, seamed in folds, 
was inquiring. 


“Royce. You know me, don’t you?” 

“No,” Royce Pelham said. “Should I?" 

“I don’t know how long it’s been, but . . . 
Tenning. Dave Tenning. The Star. Nineteen 

“A friend of Tenning?” Pelham asked. 
“I’ve got to talk to you. If I can explain — ” 
“All right. Come in. I’m alone tonight, the 
kids are out. Now.” 

So they sat in a comfortable room with fur- 
niture that was mostly old, but had a few 
new and disquieting things, like the shining, 
moving, singing crystal on its pedestal in a 
corner. Pelham was courteous. He sat and 
listened. Tenning told it all, what he’d ex- 
perienced, what he’d doped out, the whole 

“But you’re not Tenning,” Pelham said. 

“I told you he’s a double.” 

“You don’t look like Tenning.” 

“I’m older.” 

“You never were Tenning,” Pelham said, 
and gestured. Part of the wall turned into a 
mirror. Tenning turned and looked at a man 
who wasn’t Tenning, and who had never been 

KEY’D done that in D’lf. There’d been 
no mirrors there. Only Shan could have 
told the truth, and Shan couldn’t be both- 
ered. Five years, ten, twenty couldn’t have 
made this difference. The bone structure was 



different. He was older, but he wasn’t an 
older Dave Tenning. Somebody else had 
grown older in D’lf. 

“Fingerprints,” Tenning said quite a while 
later. He said it twice more before his voice 
was right. “Prints, Royee. They couldn’t 
have changed those.’’ 

But then he looked at his hands. He knew 
what his finger-tips should look like. The 
whorls and spirals had been somewhat un- 

“I think—” Pelham began. 

“Never mind. They didn’t forget anything. 
But my mind’s still mine. I can remember 
the days on the old Star.” 

He paused. The doppelganger would re- 
member, too. The doppelganger was a perfect 
double of the 1945 Dave Tenning, complete 
with memories and everything else. Enoch 
Arden. A stranger , and afraid, In a world I 
never made. 

“There must be some way of proving — ” 

“I’m an open-minded man,” Pelham said, 
“but Lord, I’ve known Tenning for years. I 
had lunch with him last Questen in Washing- 
ton. You simply can’t expect to get away 
with — whatever it is you’re trying to get 
away with.” 

“Maybe not,” Tenning said. “So they’ll 
catch up with me eventually, and take me 
back to my cozy little apartment in wher- 

Pelham spread his hands. 

“All right,” Tenning said. “Thanks for 
something, anyway. I’ll let myself out.” 

He did. 

Mary wa£ drinking her orange-colored 
chang at the counter when Tenning entered 
the drug-store. He perched on the stool be- 
side her. 

“Okay?” she asked. 

“Just fine,” he said bitterly. 

“Got any plans?” 

“Not yet. But I will have.” 

“Come along with me,” she ordered. “It’s 
my turn now. There’s something I want to 

He went with her, downtown, to a central 
plaza he remembered. They stood near the 
sidewalk, opposite the marquee of a hotel, 
and in the warm, prescient night the pulse of 
new life beat dimly in off-beat rhythm. 

People were different, Tenning saw. It was 
nothing tangible. They had just grown older, 
but not as he had grown. Not as even Mary 
had grown. They were conditioned to . . . 

But every face held a latent consciousness 
of security. There would be no revolutions. 
The roots were firm in old things. And the 
new things were coming, gradually, inevi- 

“Blast!” Tenning said. 


It was all wrong. He could have adjusted 
easily to a completely new world. A civiliza- 
tion a thousand years hence would have been 
all new. That would have been acceptable. 
But by Fish decern 7 only the little things 
had changed. The little things, and the minds 
of men. 

A man came out of the hotel and got into 
a car that pulled up. He was quite an ordi- 
nary man, but Mary’s fingers clenched on 
Tenning’s arm as the vehicle swung out and 
disappeared along the street. 


“That was Andy,” she said. 

He didn’t get it for a moment. 

Then he thought, ‘So it wasn’t Andy who 
died. It was Mary. Or, rather, she stopped 
living. She stuck to the telephones when 
Andy started to get used to the psych- 

She was a casualty, too. 

“Let’s go' back to the beer-garden,” Ten- 
ning said. 

“Gladly. Come on.” 

It didn’t take long. But there was some- 
body waiting at their table, the heavy- 
browed man Tenning had encountered on the 
steps of the Star building. He had a purple 
welt on his jaw. 

Tenning’s insides coalesced coldly. He 
poised, hesitating, and then glanced around 

“I’m all alone,” the man said. “Look, don’t 
start anything. I forgot to give you this.” He 
slapped a leatheroid folder on the table. 

“You’re not taking me back,” Tenning said. 
Unconsciously he had gone into a crouch, 
Mary behind him, instinct flooding his blood- 
stream with violence. 

“No. You left a week or so too soon, but it 
doesn’t matter. Good luck.” The man smiled, 
got up, and went out, leaving Tenning help- 
lessly shaken. 

Mary opened the folder. 

“A friend of yours?” 


“He must be. To leave you this?” 

“What is it?” Tenning still looked after 
the heavy-browed man. 

“Token-currency,” she said. “And plenty 
of it. You can buy me a drink now.” 

He snatched the folder. 

“Money? That’s what — heck! I can fight 
them now! I can splash the truth all over 
the country! See if I don’t — ” 

CHAN purred on the lap of the red-haired 
^ man. 

“Tenning is the only one who’s escaped so 
far, Jerry,” the man said, gently tickling the 
cat’s jaw. “And that wouldn’t have happened 
if we hadn’t been reconverting. Doesn’t mat- 
ter, anyhow, of course. He was due for a dis- 
charge in a week or so. You might look over 



his records some day when you have time. 
Tenning’s an interesting nonentity of the 
more troublesome sort.” 

“There’s a lot I’m still vague about,” the 
other man said. “My background’s geopo- 
litical. I’m not a physicist. The doppelgang- 
ers — ” 

“That’s a matter for the technicians. You’re 
specially qualified for administrative work, 
with psychological angles. Right now you’re 
getting a bird’s-eye view of the whole works 
— a sort of apprenticeship. 

“The doppelgangers, though — well, the 
double concept’s interesting. Not terribly im- 
portant, but interesting. When the Double 
first goes out, the psychic cord between the 
two is very strong. That’s why we have to 
keep the Original in custody — among other 

“After a certain period the Double seems 
to acquire enough personality of his own to 
go on alone, and the Original’s released. He’s 
harmless by then, anyhow.” 

“He wouldn’t have been, at first?” 

“Oh, no. Not Tenning’s type. He’s one of 
the dangerous group. Not creative, but influ- 
ential. You see, the creators and the techni- 
cians were with us from the start. They saw 
this was the only possible safe solution. 

“But the Tennings, the fellows with a little 
talent and a lot of aggressiveness — imagine 
what damage he might have done in nineteen 
forty-five, yawping his emotional reactions 
over the air. Undisciplined, immature emo- 
tions, veering in all directions. 

“It’s normal, of course — everybody was 
veering in nineteen forty-five. That was 
what we had to put a stop to, before chaos 
set in. Terming was one of the unfortunate 
in-betweens, guys with too much influence to 
run around free, and too little intelligence 
to come in constructively with us. 

“We couldn’t reason with his kind. We 
couldn’t even tell him the truth. Terming 
Duplicate has done a lot of good — under con- 
trol. All our key men have. We need guys 
like Tenning to steer people in the right di- 

“Under control,” Jerry said. 

TP HE red-haired man laughed. “We’re not 
the bosses. Don’t start out with that idea 
even in the back of your mind, Jerry. People 
with dictator impulses are reconditioned — 
fast. Here’s the answer — we could never be 
bosses in this set-up, even if we wanted to be. 
The change is taking place too slowly. 

“That was our whole concept, of course, 
and the very slowness of the thing is the 
check and balance system that works on us. 
The minute any of us got dictatorship im- 
pulses, we’d have to change the social set-up. 

“And the people won’t accept quick change. 
They've had enough of that. There’d be 

chaos, and one lone dictator wouldn’t stand a 
chance. He’d have too many opponents. All 
we’re working for — and don’t you forget it, 
Jerry — is to focus the veering. That’s job 
enough for any organization right now.” 

“What about Tenning? Now that he’s free, 
he’s harmless?” 

“Perfectly harmless. Mellhorn gave him 
token-money enough to cover the transition 
period, and he’ll adjust like everyone else — 
if he can.” 

“Pretty hard on him, isn’t it, tossed out into 
a strange world?” 

“It’s not that strange. He’ll learn. That is, 
he’ll learn now if he ever would have. I’m 
not so sure. Some just don’t adjust. It takes 
a certain flexibility and self-confidence to 
be able to’ make changes as your environ- 
ment changes. 

“People like Tenning — I don’t know. It’s 
a funny thing, Jerry, there’s a whole new 
class sinking to the bottom of the social set- 
up now. People who can’t or won’t adapt to 
the new things. It happens after every major 
social upheaval, of course, but this time we’re 
getting a new group of misfits. 

“In the long run, a much higher percent- 
age benefits, of course. It’s too bad about the 
maladjusted group, but there isn’t much we 
can do. I don’t know about Tenning. We’ll 
keep an eye on him, help if we can. 

“But these men with half a talent and a 
taste for public adulation have got a bad 
weak spot to begin with. I hope he makes 
out all right. I hope he does.” 

“I don’t get it, Dave,” Mary said. “Whom 
do you want to fight?” 

He gripped the leatHeroid folder savagely. 

“The big boys, the ones who built the 
psych-phones and started this screwy system 
of Fish decern seventh. All this — this stuff. 
You ought to know.” 

“But what do you want?” she asked. “What 
do you think you’re fighting for?” 

He looked at her. And, in the warm dim- 
ness of the air, the wave of the future stirred 
as an alien quickening that he sensed very 
dimly, and hated. 

“I’ll fight,” he promised. “I’ll — stop all 

He swung around and went out The wait- 
er paused at Mary’s table. 

“Highball,” she said. 

He sent a questioning glance after Tenning. 


“Just one.” 

“He isn’t coming back?” 

She didn’t answer for a moment as she lis- 
tened to the off-beat rhythm of the music 
that had gone on beyond her. 

“Not tonight,” she said. “But he’ll be back. 
There’s nothing out there for him. Not any 
more. Sure, he’ll be back — some day.” 

Tubby— Master of the Atom 


Off goes Tubby in the Time-Space-Mattei-Mobile on a jaunt 
to a distant era where an atomic beauty gives him the eye! 

T UBBY was excited at the very thought 
of this atomic lecture he was about to 

“Maybe he’ll explode an atom for us,” he 
whispered. “Think so? Just one, maybe?” 
“You’re raving,” Jake said. “If even one 
atom explodes, it blows you all to pieces.” 
“That’s right,” Pete declared. 

The little lecture hall was crowded. Tubby 
and his two friends had come early, to be sure 

of good seats. Now they were seated com- 
fortably in the first row. The place had filled 
quickly. When there were no more regular 
seats, the ushers had opened little camp- 
chairs. There were a few feet of empty space 
between the first row and the raised lecture 

That was too bad for Tubby because, pres- 
ently, an usher came escorting what seemed 
to be favored personages — two baldheaded 


little men, and a young woman. 

The usher obsequiously placed the chairs 
on a diagonal partly in front of Tubby and his 
friends. The young woman had a weird- 
looking black hat with a feather and flower 
on it. She was very animated, whispering to 
her aged companions, so that in about a min- 
ute Tubby was dizzy trying to duck the bob- 
bing' feather and flower. 

“Well!” he exploded audibly. “Some peo- 
ple just ain’t got no consideration at all!” 

The young woman turned. Tubby hadn’t 
noticed her much before. He had been too 
busy gazing at the hat. He saw now that she 
was a slim and slinky girl in black, with a 
face that nobody could complain about. Her 
parted red lips were smiling, and the ravish- 
ing look of big, luminous dark eyes that she 
bestowed on Tubby made his head swim. 

“Oh, I’m sorry,” the young woman said. 
“My hat, of course!” She removed it and 
turned back to waste her charm on the two 
weazened little men. 

“ ’Sail right,” Tubby murmured. “Thanks, 
you needn’t have bothered.” 

“Sh-h-h!” Jake hissed. “Shut up! He’s 

A pale young man in black evening clothes 
complete with tails, boiled shirt and high col- 
lar, had appeared on the platform. His voice 
was soft and very pleasant. Soothing. He was 
sort of hypnotic, Tubby thought. But if you 
listened close to what he was saying, it was 
the real McCoy. Gave you plenty to think 

“Now the uranium atom is the most com- 
plex of all atoms,” the lecturer was saying. 
“It has in it ninety-two electrons. Each of 
them has a charge of negative electricity, and 
they spin in orbits around a tiny, but heavy 
nucleus. And this nucleus is made up of nine- 
ty-two positively charged protons plus one 
hundred forty-six neutrons, which are elec- 
trically neutral. This atom we call U-Two- 
thirty-eight. That L ninety-two plus one- 
forty-six which equals two-thirty-eight. Now 
in order to split that atom and thus release 
an enormous amount of energy, we add to the 
nucleus a slow-moving neutron produced 
with the aid of radium or a cyclotron. . .” 

D EEP stuff this. Tubby wedged his fat 
little body down more comfortably in 
his chair. The lecturer droned on: 

“Now the mechanism of an atomic bomb, 
for instance, by which a slow-moving neu- 
tron strikes the atom, consists of — ” 


A twitch at his coat sleeve made Tubby 
turn. A man was standing beside him in the 
aisle — a thin, bent little man with a big wob- 
bling head and a mass of iron-gray hair. He 
had a felt hat in his hand. His fingers were 
crushing it in suppressed excitement. 

“You’re Tubby?” the little man whispered. 
“I’ve been looking all over for you. Come 
on. Quick, now!” 

Tubby was startled. “Come on where? 
Why? Is somethin’ wrong?” 

“Things are very right,” the little man 
murmured. “Now that I’ve found you — very 
right indeed. But hurry!” 

Before he really realized it, Tubby was in 
the aisle and the stranger was guiding him to 
a side exit. In the dim hall no one saw them 

“Hey, wait a minute, where we goin’?” 
Tubby asked. 

It was drizzling out; much too disagree- 
able to roam around. The little man turned 
up the frayed collar of his dark coat and 
pulled his hat-brim down over his eyes. 

“We’re going to my chemical laboratory,” 
he answered briskly. “My! I’m glad I found 
you, Tubby.” 

“Me, too,” Tubby said. A gentleman is al- 
ways polite. “Glad to meet you, Mr.— er — ” 

“I’m Professor Ikon,” the little man said. 
He turned his thin, seamed face toward Tub- 
by, and beamed. His features wrinkled up 
into a knot and his scraggly teeth showed. 

“Oh, well, glad to meet you,” Tubby ac- 

Professor Ikon looked disappointed. 
“You’ve never heard of me! Well, I suppose 
that’s the best I could expect; That’s just the 
trouble. Almost no one has ever heard of me. 
But that’s what I’m going to fix. Right now! 
And you’re going to help me! You and I, 
Tubby. We’re going to be the best known 
people in the world. And the most power- 

It sounded fine, but Tubby had no chance 
to go into it further just then because the 
Professor suddenly turned into a dark entry- 
way and began fumbling with a key. The 
door opened. 

“Come in, Tubby. Take your coat off and 
roll up your sleeves. I’ll have everything 
ready in a minute.” 

This Professor Ikon was a man of action. 
Tubby flung off his coat and rolled up his 
sleeves ready for business. The Professor 
switched on a light and began bustling about. 
It was a small, dingy room crowded with 


queer-looking apparatus. Wall shelves held 
big bottles of colored liquid and what looked 
like radio tubes and grids and flashlight bat- 
teries, Everything was electrical, with wires 
lying around like dead snakes. 

The Professor knelt down in the middle of 
the floor where what looked like a small 
canoe of white aluminum was standing. The 
canoe glowed with a luminous electrical 
light. Then the Professor turned off a switch 
and the glow died out. 

“Fine!” he said. “Everything is ready.” He 
gestured toward the canoe as he stood up. 
“There, you see? It will hold us two com- 
fortably, though I guess it will be a little 
crowded, coming back with three.” 

“Cornin’ back?” Tubby echoed. “Where we 
goin’? And why?” Caution is always the bet- 
ter part of valor. “Ain’t you rushin’ me, Pro- 
fessor? Let’s take a minute an’ get things 

“A minute!” the Professor said. “Why, I’ve 
taken all my life, Tubby, in studying this 
thing, working on it. I’m ready now, at last. 
But if you insist on technicalities, I’ll ex- 

He did. Tubby listened, open mouthed. 

It was a thrilling project. The Professor 
had seen a girl — she was extraordinarily far 
away, but still he had seen her — not once, but 
many times, for several years now. 

“I am able to see her, with what I call my 
‘Time-Ocularoscope,’ ” Professor Ikon ex- 
plained. “I remember f was roaming with my 
vision back and forth through Time. The 
future, the past, all the myriad Time-worlds. 
And then, quite by accident, I spied her.” 

The little Professor sighed, and his far- 
away look was so rapt that Tubby realized 
this must be a very remarkable girl indeed. 

“A good looker?” Tubby demanded. 

“The best. The very best, Tubby. Her eyes 
particularly.” Professor Ikon sighed again. 
“That gaze of hers! So beautiful, so com- 
pelling. It has made her Princess of her 
world. Its Supreme Ruler.” 

E VIDENTLY a remarkable situation in 
this strange, distant world had de- 
veloped. The Professor quite obviously un- 
derstood it thoroughly, through years of 
studying it with his Time-Ocularoscope. By 
the very power of her beauty and flashing 
gaze, this Princess had made everyone in her 
world bow to her will. 

“Like hypnotizin’ ’em,” Tubby suggested. 
*'A«n, I right?” 

“Yes. Right. That is, you could call it hyp- 
notism, if you wish,” Professor Ikon ad- 
mitted. “Though it’s a bit more scientific 
than that. I needn’t go into all the technical- 

“Because she’s a swell-looker, and that’s 
the most important thing,” Tubby agreed. 
“Okay. Rig up your — whatever that was you 
called it — and let’s see her.” 

“But we can do better than that, Tubby,” 
The Professor’s weazened face was flushed. 
He was trembling rll over with excitement. 
“My Time-Space-Matter-Mobile will take us 
to her. I’ve worked years on it now — all the 
best years of my life, and it’s ready.” His 
gaze was on the small, canoe-shaped alumi- 
num vehicle. 

“That?” Tubby murmured. It looked like 
a precarious thing to travel in. 

“That’s it,” Professor Ikon admitted ten- 
derly. “And now, since it’s ready, why waste 
effort just looking at the Great Princess when 
we can hop in and go to her?” 

The logic of his reasoning was perfectly 

“Right,” Tubby agreed. 

In his eagerness, the little Professor al- 
ready was starting to shove Tubby in. But it 
occurred to Tubby that he didn’t yet have all 
the facts concerning this thing. 

“Just a second, Perfessor,” he said. “What 
did you mean? You said you and I are gonna 
get to rule the earth and be the best known 
and the most powerful people in the whole 
world. We’d be the richest too, maybe, huh?” 

“We will, Tubby! Of course! The richest 
men on earth, because we’ll control every- 
thing and everybody. We’ll bend everybody 
to our will.” 

“Make ’em do what we say? Am I right?” 

“That’s it, exactly.” 

“But how we gonna do it?” Tubby de- 
manded practically. One should have a defi- 
nite plan, especially in such a big project. 
“And this Princess? What’s she got to do 
with it?” 

“Everything, Tubby. Absolutely every- 

It was a very neat and tricky plan which 
the Professor had worked out. They would go 
now and bring the Princess back with them. 
When they had her here, she would master 
everyone here on earth, by the strange and 
intricately-seientific power of her gaze, just 
as she had in her own world. 

It sounded quite a lot of mastering for one 
lone girl to do, no matter how good a looker 


she was, but Professor Ikon was very con- 
fident about her powers. 

“Believe me, Tubby, she can do it,” he de- 
clared earnestly. “I’’-e seen her do marvels 
in her own world.” Ikon’s expression was 
awed. “I don’t need to bother you with the 
technical science of it. How she does it all is 
quite technical. But I understand it, Tubby, 
and if you insist, I’ll explain.” 

“ ’S’quite okay,” Tubby agreed. “If you’ve 
really seen her perform, okay!” 

“I did. I saw her quell a rebellion. That 
was two years ago.” 

So they would bring the Princess here, and 
she would make everybody in the world obey 
her. That was fine, but still Tubby could de- 
tect a flaw in the scheme. 

“She’ll boss everybody,” Tubby said. “But 
who’ll boss her?” 

“ You will,” the little professor said tri- 
umphantly. “That’s why I need you to go 
with me.” 

“Me?” Tubby said. 

“Of course. Why, I’ve heard of you for 
years, Tubby. You’ll charm her — master 

“Will I?” 

“Of course you will. The things I’ve heard 
about you handling girls are marvelous. 
That’s why I wanted to find you tonight. I 
had to find you. See?” 

“Well, I do get along with girls pretty 
good,” Tubby said modestly. 

“I know you do. And when you really put 
your mind to it, with such gigantic issues at 
stake, it’ll be a push-over.” 

After all, the Professor’s argument was ir- 
refutable. Tubby thumped his chest. 

“Okay, Perfessor. Let’s go.” 

The little Time-Space-Matter-Mobile was 
pretty narrow, but Tubby wedged himself 
down into its bottom, with the Professor 
sprawled beside him. For such a small ve- 
hicle, there were certainly a lot of mecha- 
nisms — wires, batteries, and dials. A panel of 
dials, like about a hundred tiny clock-faces, 
was up in the bow where Professor Ikon was 

“Now, hold still, Tubby.” The Professor’s 
voice was trembling with emotion. This was 
certainly a big moment for him, after all his 
years of work. “Don’t move now. I’ll adjust 
the electrodes on you.” 

I T SOUNDED bad, but Tubby held himself 
motionless while the Professor fitted an 
aluminum cap to his head, with wires down 

to his wrists and ankles, clamped there with 
metal bracelets. There was also a collar and 
belt which went around Tubby, too. Then 
Professor Ikon fitted himself up in the same 

“And we have a third apparatus for her,” 
Professor Ikon said. “You see, I’ve thought 
of everything. Now! Brace yourself, Tubby. 
I’ll start us.” 

The little Professor’s fingers trembled with 
eagerness as he fumbled under the inside of 
the gunwale. Tubby certainly hoped he 
wouldn’t do anything wrong in his excite- 

“Take it easy,” he cautioned the scientist. 
“We ain’t in too much of a hurry. Which 
way do we go? Maybe you better explain 
to me — ” 

He had no chance to finish. Professor Ikon 
had shoved the switch. It was quite a shock. 
Everything got pretty mixed up and con- 
fused for Tubby. The laboratory room 
swayed dizzily, and then seemed to burst 
with a soundless explosion. Or was the ex- 
plosion in Tubby’s head? His ears roared. 
The blinding light was dazzling. 

For a minute he couldn’t see anything. He 
just seemed to be swooping around in a big 
empty abyss. 

Where was the Professor? Where was the 
laboratory room? 

The effect was certainly peculiar. Tubby 
thought maybe he was dead. Then he knew 
he wasn’t, because he could feel himself 
wedged against the curving sides of the 
vehicle and his head was steadying. Every 
place he looked brought glimpses of a great, 
empty void of gray swaying mist. 

The little canoe-shaped vehicle seemed to 
be hanging in the center of it. And now 
Tubby could see that the gunwale beside him 
was becoming luminous. When his hand 
happened to touch it, he discovered that it 
was warm and throbbing with a rapid, tiny 

The Professor had been knocked out cold. 
He was sprawled out beside Tubby in a 
senseless heap. A green phosphorescent 
glow made him look awful. 

At last he stirred, and sat up dizzily. 

“Why — why — oh dear!” he murmured, “I 
must have started us too quickly. Are you 
all right, Tubby?” 

“Sure,” Tubby said. “I guess so.” 

They were in full flight. The luminous 
hands on all the little dials were stirring. 
Some a i the pointers were whizzing around 


so fast Tubby couldn’t see them. But every- 
thing was all right now. The Professor was 

“Wonderful, Tubby. We’re on our way.” 
He rubbed his palms together in triumph. 

“On our way, where?” Tubby demanded. 
“Listen, Professor, you ain’t yet told me just 
where we’re goin’.” 

“Well, so far, in Space, we haven’t moved 
at all,” Professor Ikon explained. “We’re 
just where we started. This is my laboratory 

“Don’t look like it,” Tubby said dubiously. 

“No, of course i doesn’t. Because our 
movement now is in Time.” He consulted 
his dials. “We’ve just passed the year of 
Eighteen-fifty. But of course we’re picking 
up speed pretty fast now.” 

All the changes of these speeding years 
were blending together, as Professor Ikon 
made clear, so that ill Tubby could see was 
a swaying gray abyss. 

“We’re goin’ into the past, right?” Tubby 
said. “So that’s where the girl lives? Right 
here, but back in the past?” 

“Well, yes and no,” the Professor said. 
“You see, Tubby, it’s a little more compli- 
cated than that. First we go back to the early 

“How far back?” Tubby asked. 

“The year Nine Thousand-and-one B.C. 
That’s just roughly speaking, of course. 
Naturally, I’ve calculated the exact month, 
week and day.” 

It sounded like a long distance. Suddenly 
Tubby had a startling realization. He was 
getting hungry, and thirsty. 

“I hope you brought somethin’ to eat and 
drink with us, Perfessor,'’ he said. “I ain’t 
seen no food around here yet.” 

The Professor seemed' to have forgotten 
that little detail. But he covered it up. 

“Why — my goodness, I think that is hardly 
necessary, Tubby. The trip won’t take long, 
not to our consciousness of the passing of 
time. Why, already we’re — ” he consulted 
his dials — “passing Fourteen Ninety-one. 
Columbus is just getting ready to discover 
America. Of course we’re still moving com- 
paratively slowly. But our acceleration is 
tremendous. In geometric ratio it’s absolute- 
ly terrific.” 

They got back to the year One Thousand, 
A.D., almost before the Professor realized it, 
and that wasn’t a marker to the speed they’d 
have presently. 

“I think I’d better start moving us in 

Space,” the scientist said suddenly. “You 
see, in Space the girl is living at what my 
calculations show to be Latitude twenty de- 
grees two minutes one second North, and 
Longitude Eighty degrees, three seconds. 
That’s about Little Cayman Island, south of 
Cuba. We have to pause there, in Nine 
Thousand-and-one, B.C. But from then on, 
we don’t go further either in Space or in 
Time. We stop.” 

T HE Professor had no chance now to ex- 
plain anything else. He was too busy 
moving them in Space. He pressed a lot of 
new levers. Tubby’s head whirled again. All 
he could see was that the gray void around 
them had started to sway a little more. He 
could almost imagine it was drifting back- 
ward as they slid forward through it, head- 
ing for Cuba. The vehicle throbbed a little 
differently. It glowed now with a reddish 

“Three Thousand, B.C., and we’re passing 
over the Space -f about Charleston, South 
Carolina,” the Professor announced suddenly. 

The little Time-Space-Matter -Mobile was 
certainly going places in a hurry. Tubby 
was glad the trip would be brief, because now 
he was growing very uncomfortable. His 
wedged body was cramped. He had also 
begun to realize the sides of the vehicle were 
getting pretty hot. Worse than that, they 
were getting hotter every minute, and he 
could smell the choking odor of chemicals. 
Something was burning! 

“Hey, Perfessor somethin’s wrong!” 
Tubby warned. “You better watch out!” 
The Professor also had noticed it. 

“Oh, dear — oh, dear!” He looked frightened 
and confused, which was bad because Tubby 
didn’t know how to operate this thing. Ob- 
viously plenty of action was needed, right 
now, in a hurry. 

“Oh, my! I’m afraid!” 

Tubby gripped him. “Brace up, Perfessor! 
What’s gone sour?” 

Something had gone very sour indeed. 
The chemical fumes were getting worse. The 
gunwale of the vehicle was now so hot Tubby 
could hardly sit still. 

“I must have put on too much speed!” 
Professor Ikon 'wailed. “Dear me!” 

The little Time-Space-Matter-Mobile was 
running plenty hot! A million of its tiny, 
intricate bearings were in danger of burn- 
ing up. 

“Do somethin’, Perfessor. Listen, we gotta 


act quick.” 

“Yes. Of course. I’ll act. We’ll have to 
land. I — we — -I’ll land us.” 

It was certainly a crash landing. The Pro- 
fessor’s shaking hands seemed to pull all the 
switches at once. Tubby heard him mum- 
bling something about the Time of Seven 
Thousand, B.C. and the Space of mid- 
Florida, and everything jolted into chaos. 
The next thing Tubby knew was that he and 
the Professor must have catapulted out of 
the vehicle, because now they were lying on a 
leafy ground. The Professor was trying to 
sit up. 

“Tubby!” he gasped. “Look!” 

Tubby got partly to his feet. The little 
canoe-shaped vehicle was here. It didn’t 
appear to be smashed. A wisp of green-yel- 
low smoke was rising from it and its bow 
had dug into a leafy, mouldy soil. But other- 
wise it looked all right. None of that was 
what the Professor meant. His arm was 
shakily gesturing. 

“Tubby! Oh, my, goodness!” 

All around them was a lush, steaming 
jungle. It was gorgeous. But Tubby had no 
chance to admire the scenery, because out of 
it strange things were coming at a run! A 
ring of them, advancing from everywhere! 
There were horned brown animals, like 
giant antelope; lumbering, monstrous alli- 
gators, with yawning jaws ; and great snakes, 
like pythons, that slithered along the ground. 

In the trees other things scampered, getting 
ready to leap. All of them were yelling, with 
every kind of animal voice. And in the air, 
birds like huge vultures were circling, 
swooping down! Mid-Florida in the year of 
Seven Thousand, B.C. quite evidently was a 
busy place. 

And it was the abrupt arrival of the Pro- 
fessor and Tubby which had caused the ex- 
citement. Tubby needed only one swift look. 

“We gotta get outer here!” he yelped. 
“Perfessor, this ain’t no place for us.” 
Plainly it wasn’t. All these creatures most 
certainly were greedily hungry, racing to 
beat each other to the meal. 

Tubby sprang into action. It was nip and 
tuck. He yanked the Professor into the ve- 
hicle, and wedged himself down. 

“Get us goin’, Perfessor. Snappy now.” 
Somehow the still- dazed Professor man- 
aged to pull the right levers. Everything 
lurched; the ring of hungry animal faces and 
slithering reptiles all seemed to dissolve into 
grayness. , . 

The little Time-Space-Matter-Mobile was 
on its way again. It had cooled off and again 
was running sweetly. 

“Let’s take it kinda slow, eh, Perfessor?” 
Tubby suggested. “Don’t wanta heat her up 

E IGHT thousand, B.C. And in Space they 
were steadily drifting to the designated 
latitude and longitude. 

After a while the Professor commenced 
slowing up. There was another moment of 
chaos as they stopped, but compared to the 
crash landing, it was very easy. 

Nine Thousand, B.C. Lat. 20° 2 ' 1 " N. Long. 
80° 0' 3" W. So far so good. Tubby took a 
look around. There was a lot of sand, a 
stretch of glassy water and, off to one side, 
the edge of a jungle. It was night, with stars 
that looked just about as usual. 

“Okay,” Tubby said. “Where do we go 
now, Perfessor? Don’t have to stop here 
long, do we?” 

Where they went from there sounded 
pretty complicated to Tubby, but the Pro- 
fessor assured him that it wasn’t. 

“We start right away,” he said. “This is 
the right spot, and the right time, but now 
we have to go into a different material 

It was like going into the fourth dimension, 
Professor Ikon explained. A fourth dimen- 
sional world of this exact Time and Space. 

“You see?” the Professor said. “In a way, 
you could say we’re now going sidewise in 
Time, since we go neither forward nor back- 
ward, but just hold level. We only stopped 
because I was afraid to turn the corner too 

“We might skid,” Tubby agreed. 

They were off again in a minute, with the 
vista of sand and water melting into a dim 
shifting void. The little vehicle glowed with 
a dim orange sheen now and emitted a faint 
humming noise. But the trip was short and 
the gunwale didn’t heat up. 

“Now!” the Professor murmured. “Here at 

There was quite a nasty jolt, but Tubby 
kept his wits. The Professor as usual was 
pretty well knocked out, with his head down 
on the floor boards and his arms trailing 
limply. Briskly Tubby sat up. Somebody 
had to be alert, after that experience in the 
year of Seven Thousand, B.C. 

All was well, but peculiar. The light of 
this new world consisted of a faint twilight 


glow. Ribbons of luminescence flickered up 
from the rocks. Phosphorescence shim- 
mered in the water of a little lake nearby 
and glowed in all the branches of the droop- 
ing lacy trees. 

It was a beautiful, though queer-looking 
landscape. Outlines were blurred, as if being 
viewed through water. Distant fields were 
visible, with the little dark shapes of things 
growing in them. Overhead arched the sky, 
like a purple vault, very close, so close that 
Tubby tried to reach up and touch it, but 
found that he couldn’t. 

The Professor once more had come to life. 
He sat up, felt himself to see if he was all in 
one piece, and then looked around triumph- 

“We’re here, Tubby. Wonderful! Exactly 
as I calculated. Look! There’s her palace.” 

He had certainly steered a neat course to 
their destination. Off to the left, part way up 
a little rose colored hill, a big, low, shining 
building stood under the drooping, fantastic 
red and bluish trees. 

Tubby was still wearing the electrodes and 
■Wires. He started to take them off, but the 
scientist stopped him. 

“Might as well leave them on, Tubby,” 
Professor Ikon said. “Wait, I’ll take along a 
set for her. We’ll go get her and bring her 
back here.” Ikon gathered up the third set 
of wires and electrodes, and hustled Tubby 
along a little path that led between tall palm 
trees to the palace. 

It was a daring scheme, this abduction of a 
Princess, particularly one who was so pow- 
erful she ruled her world just with a gesture 
and a look. Now that the time was at hand, 
Tubby grew tense with excitement. He 
gazed around apprehensively, but there was 
no one else in sight. Everything was deadly 

“Maybe this is the middle of night here,” 
Tubby whispered, as they crept closer to the 
dim and silent palace. 

The Professor chuckled. “Of course it is. 
That was my plan. I figured everything out, 
down to the exact second. She’ll be asleep. 
We’ll sneak in, wake her up and you’ll make 
her come with us.” 

Tubby hoped he could. 

“Sure, sure,” he agreed. 

They moved closer. 

“There’s her window,” the Professor mur- 
mured. “See it? We’ll climb in.” 

Tubby saw it, a little triangular hole in 
the flowered red wall of the glowing build- 

ing. Big round balls of flowers on long stems 
swayed to and fro, here in the palace gar- 
dens. They were nearly as tall as Tubby. 
As he and the Professor moved furtively be- 
tween them, they rustled and stirred as 
though frightened. The effect was creepy. 

“Lookit,” Tubby whispered. “Them 
flowers — they’re afraid of us!” 

The Professor cast an uneasy glance at 
them. “They do act queer, don’t they?” 

UEER was a mild word for it. Tubby 
and the Professor had passed through 
the garden now. Behind them the ball- 
flowers had shifted so that they were clus- 
tered together. 

Sounds came from them, tiny, muttering, 
frightened voices. 

They weren’t flowers. They were people! 

They had little stick-like brown stems of 
bodies, with branching arms and legs and the 
round reddish ball at the top which was the 
head. For an instant they faintly chattered 
in terror. 

Suddenly they all turned and ran, vanish- 
ing in the dim red, phosphorescent sheen of 
the night. 

Tubby gasped, but the Professor was re- 

“Why, I remember now,” he whispered. 
“Those are the workers of this world. And 
sometimes at night they come to worship 
outside the Princess’ window.” 

Yet they had run away in terror. Very 
good. Tubby expanded his ample pudgy 

“Scared the daylights out of ’em, eh, Per- 
fessor?” he said with a chuckle. “If the 
Princess has any Palace guards around here, 
I’ll handle ’em.” 

But no guards appeared. There was a loud 
thump as Tubby climbed through the tri- 
angular window and went sprawling flat in- 
side on the floor. The Professor landed up- 
right, but lost his balance and sat down with 
a force which was hard enough to rattle the 
electrodes he was carrying. 

“Sh-h-h!” Tubby whispered. “Quiet! 
Don’t fall down so loud, Perfessor.” 

They crouched there, panting, and lis- 
tened. But nothing unpleasant happened. 
The Princess hadn’t waked up. She was over 
there, sleeping peacefully on a mound of 
rose-colored cushions in the center of the 

It was a big, perfumed room. Soft-colored 
drapes of delicate tints hung everywhere in 



big folds. Phosphorescent light shimmered 
on them. Tubby gazed raptly— not at the 
drapes — but at the sleeping Princess. 

The Professor hadn’t exaggerated. She was 
a swell looker. Her shimmering, pale-blue 
robe showed that she had curves in all the 
right places, and she was lying gracefully 
with one pink-white arm crooked under her 
head. Her hair, shining like fine threads of 
silver, was spread on the pillow, framing 
her face. Nobody could want his girl to 
have a nicer face. But the beauty of this one 
was somewhat marred, because even now in 
sleep, the Princess was wearing big dark 
spectacles, like smoked-lens sun-glasses, 

“There she is!” the Professor was mur- 
muring with awe. “Go wake her up, Tubby. 
Charm her, let her know who’s master 
around here. Hurry now. We want to get her 
out of this place right away.” 

He gave Tubby a shove. Waking young 
ladies up was not exactly in Tubby’s line, es- 
pecially Princesses. But he started forward 
masterfully. He didn’t get very far. Un- 
fortunately Professor Ikon had put the third 
set of electrodes and wires on the floor. 
Tubby’s feet got tangled. He fell on his 
face, and by the time he had staggered erect 
again, the Princess was sitting up in bed, 
with her silvery hair falling in a mass over 
her slim shoulders. She was astonished as 
she stared at Tubby. Next she grew angry. 
The glasses hid her eyes, which probably 
were flashing royal wrath. Tubby could tell 
by the set of her beautiful red lips how 
annoyed she felt. 

“Rumpff!” the Princess said. 

Tubby maintained his dignity. He got to 
his feet and smiled his very best smile. 

“Hi-ya Princess,” he said. “Pleased to 
meet you.” 

“Rumpff, scroppf!” the Princess said. 

In a way, it began to look as if this could 
be tough going. Tubby took another step or 
two toward her. The Princess didn’t act 
frightened. About the only emotion she was 
registering was indignation. Her dainty hand 
made a gesture toward her heavy dark spec- 
tacles, but she seemed to change her mind 
and dropped her hand to the cushion beside 

“Rumpff, scroppf, ruzzle!” she said in 
sharp tones. 

From across the room, the Professor mur- 

“Oh dear’, I forgot she can’t understand 
you, Tubby. Maybe if you try Sanscrit or 

Lemurianese, she’d get what you mean.” 

His voice went into a squeal of terror. It 
made Tubby turn, just in time to see the 
rose-colored drapes across the room parting. 
The Palace guards had arrived! 

Tubby gulped and stood staring, numbed. 
These weren’t little men with bodies like 
flimsy brown sticks. Anything but. In the 
folds of the wall-drapes a huge, ugly-look- 
ing customer stood looming — a scowling, 
massive, hairy villain about eight feet tall! 
His naked barrel chest was black with matted 
hair. His shoulders were wide and thick as 
a gorilla’s. His big-jowled face was scowl- 
ing. A thing that looked like a huge meat 
cleaver was in his hand. He brandished it 
murderously as he rushed at Tubby. Be- 
hind him there were other guards, fully as 
big and as ugly. 

“Oh dear!” the Professor squealed. “Oh, 
my goodness.” 

The scientist cowered on the floor over by 
the triangular window and it occurred to 
Tubby that he might leap to safety through 
the window, but he was standing so far away 
the idea wasn’t practical. Maybe a good stiff 
bluff would work. 

“Stand where you are, you villain!” Tubby 
yelled. “You take one step closer and, s’elp 
me, I’ll shoot yuh dead.” 

B UT the big villain didn’t get the idea at 
all. He kept on coming, with the meat 
cleaver raised over his head. 

“Tubby! Tubby, watch out!” the Profes- 
sor shrieked. 

The Princess was sitting up even more im- 
periously on her cushions. Again her hand 
made a gesture toward her spectacles. 

“Gruff qumbess dimarko — ruppf,” the 
Princess ordered. 

Her command stopped the oncoming hairy 
scoundrel. He dropped his meat cleaver and 
stood stiff as though frozen. The other scoun- 
drels behind him cowered back. The meat 
cleaver hit the floor with a clang, slid and 
brought up against one of Tubby’s feet. His 

He stooped, seized the cleaver, raised it 
over his head and jumped. It was quite a 
■ meat cleaver. Its heavy cutting edge struck 
the first villain square in the middle of the 
skull. As though he were a statue carved out 
of soap, the cleaver went down through 
him, dividing him neatly in half. 

For a second, or so, the two halves of him 
stood balanced, each on its leg, then fell, 


10 ® 

with a splintering crash, like glass breaking. 

“Whiffi!” the Princess gasped. She was 
evidently very much at home with violence. 
She flung a glance of contempt at the fallen 
giant, and bestowed on Tubby a smile fairly 
dripping with admiration. 

“Neez,” she murmured. “Nickl.” 

Her hand made a little gesture, beckoning 

Professor Ikon had recovered himself. 
“Wonderful, Tubby! She wants you to 
sit down by her. Hurry it up. Don’t be back- 

Tubby realized it was no time to hesitate. 
The other guards had slunk away, but more 
might come. He sat down. 

“Sorry if I frightened you, Princess,” he 

What difference did it make what he said, 
since she couldn’t understand him. It was 
what he did which would count. He touched 
her arm. “You and me could get along swell 

“Rickl!" the Princess said. “Sappo ptush.” 
“The idea is to get outa here,” Tubby ex- 
plained. He made violent gestures toward 
the Princess, the Professor, himself and the 
triangle of window. “We’re gonna take you 
away, see?” He gripped one of her hands. 

“Sappo,” the Princess said again. Her lips 
were smiling. But Tubby couldn’t see her 
eyes and those miserable dark glasses spoiled 
her beauty. Tubby impulsively reached for 
them, yanked them off and tossed them away. 

“Let’s see what you look like, Princess. 
You sure are a grand looker and them 
cheaters ain’t becomin’. Not at all.” 

A gasp from the Princess and a yelp of 
horror from the Professor cut short his ad- 
miring words. 

“Tubby! Tubby! Oh my Heavens.” 

“ ’Sail right, Professor. She ain’t mad.” 
“Tubby — her eyes!” the scientist screeched. 
“Look out! Her eyes are deadly.” 

“They’re swell.” For a second her luscious 
gaze had swept Tubby. It made him tingle. 
Flashing, loving, admiring gaze. But the little 
Professor was trying to climb out the win- 
dow, squealing with fright. 

“Run for your life, Tubby,” he howled. 
“Her eyes are the secret of her power. Her 
eyes flash neutrons! Slow-moving neutrons! 
Oh, I should have told you!” 

Slow-moving neutrons, streaming now 

from her flashing eyes! Neutrons that would 
join the nucleus of the atoms here — and 
split them, with an enormous release of 
energy from the fission! 

The poor Princess was trying now to cover 
up her eyes, but it evidently didn’t feel too 
good on her hands. Tiny bursts of light rose 
from them. In despair she flung an agonized 
glance across the room after her spectacles. 

Too late! A billion tiny explosions went off 
with pin-points of light everywhere she 
looked — atoms exploding — one setting off 
the other. . . . 

There was a second, in the midst of that 
horrible atomic roar, light and heat, when 
Tubby tried to stagger to his feet. Then a 
blast of white-hot pressure flung him down 
again. Frantically he clutched the Princess. 
She was murmuring with horror, and twitch- 
ing, pulling away from him. Tubby could 
also hear scraping sounds, such as chairs 
being violently moved. Angry voices were 
murmuring. Faint, distant voices, coming 
closer, clarifying . . . 

“Oh migosh, Tubby!” It was Jake’s voice 
now. “Leave her be. Are you dotty?” 

“Stop him! He’s crazy! There were a 
whole lot of other voices. 

Tubby opened his eyes. 

It wasn’t the Princess he was clutching. It 
was the handsome, sleek young woman in 
black with the two little bald-headed men 
beside her! Tubby discovered that the 
crowded lecture hall was in an uproar. 

He had slumped forward and sidewise, half 
off his chair and was gripping the handsome 
young woman vigorously. She had flashed 
him a luscious, ravishing look with her dark 
eyes when she took off her hat before the 
lecture began, but that wasn’t the kind of 
look she was giving him now. This one was 
a searing flame, devastating as the flash of 
an atomic bomb! 

“Let go of me,” she screamed. “You nasty 
little buttertub!” 

Jake grabbed at Tubby. “Leave her be. 
We gotta get outer here.” 

“Yeah, that’s right,” Tubby said. 

“Sure have, quick!” Pete agreed. “We 
gotta get ourselves outer here.” 

But they didn’t have to get themselves 
out. A whole platoon of ushers came and 
threw them out through the side exit, into 
the rain-swept street. 

Next Issue’s Novel: I AM EDEN, by HENRY KUTTNER 


(Continued from page 6) 

by mistake, so he had had no covers to work from. 
Now their backs were turned! Now was the time to 

I touched my nose with my tongue and uttered the 
powerful word “ 
fictionmagazine!!!!!!’’ There was a flash of lightning, 
a terrific roar, and the whole building was tom apart. 
I escaped, and so, evidently, did the Sarge and his 

It is now 4:30 A.M., and as I sit here writing, I hear 
a noise like the tread of a robot. It is one! No! No! 
A-A-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-g-h-h-h-h! ! !! ! ! ! ! 

Seriously, the mag is pretty good except for the 
covers. Even they would be okay, if Bergey would 
leave out his people. The main trouble is, the people 
etc. are emphasized too much. Tone down some of those 
poses, and they would be okay. This issue had a 
cover that wasn’t so bad, except for the girl. 

Now the stories: 

I suppose everyone likes to rate the stories, so I 
guess I’ll take a try at it too. 

First place: Battle of the Brains. Excellent. Many 
more Shelton stories. 

Second place: The short, Rocket Skin. I like the 
original idea. Well told. Good. 

Third place: Tie between Rocket Pants and The 

Indestructible Man. Fair. 

The rest of the stories weren’t so hot. but they were 

I like the flteader’s department. I get a big kick out of 
it. I know I can always turn to TWS for entertain- 
ment as far as The Reader Speaks goes. 

Hey, I just realized that I haven’t told you that I 
am a new writer to this column. Hope to keep it up. 
If you must have poetry from the readers, why not put 
it in a special section. 

Since epistoler Brown is a neophyte, we 
can, we suppose, forgive him for emulating 
such regular predecessors as Joe Kennedy, 
Chad Oliver and the like, all of whom have 
employed this somewhat maize-spattered 
stencil repeatedly. However, this is the last 
of them we shall ever print in “The Reader 
Speaks.” So be it! 

SES in the present issue is one of the 
best stories ever written by one of the best 
authors of STF extant! Well, Mr. Leinster 
has come up with an equally brilliant sequel 
entitled THE END, for next issue! Moving 
swiftly into the far-distant future, he creates 
a world threatened with galactic catastrophe 
and unable, thanks to human inertia, to save 
itself — until a young rebel with ideas and 
imagination defies the powers that are to be, 
and saves mankind and the galaxy by an 
amazing reapplication of the pocket universe, 
safely stored in a museum. 

This line-up of Kuttner, Vance and Lein- 
ster is one of which we are justifiably proud 
—and one which we fervently hope you will 
find engrossing and entertaining, as you will 
the short stories and the regular features 
which accompany the longer fiction works. 
The issue should brighten many a dark and 
chilly late-fall evening. 


While the majority of readers wants the 
Sarge changed and changed plenty, he still 
has a few who cling to the ancient concept. 
Witness the following: 


by John M. Cunningham 


HREE feature-yarns headline our next 

■ TWS, and all of them should be good 
news for readers. The novel is by Henry 
Kuttner whose newest science fiction yarns 
show that he is certainly burgeoning into 
even greater post-war brilliance. In I AM 
EDEN, a story of radioactive experiments in a 
far corner of the Amazon basin jungle, he 
lives up to everything ever promised for him. 
It is a yarn that combines pseudo-science 
with fantastic horror in a manner which is 
not only logical but, perhaps by that very 
reason, terrifying almost beyond sanity. 

An amazing novelet, PHALID’S FATE, is 
by Jack Vance, our brilliant discovery of 
1945. With his powerful writing talent and 
fresh imagination, Vance has tackled the 
problem of the meeting between human and 
insect brains which has long been a subject 
of STF speculation and come up with an en- 
tirely new slant. This story should serve to 
establish Jack Vance as an important name 
in the field. 

Murray Leinster’s POCKET UNIVER- 

Dear Sgt. Saturn: Whatzis I hear? Sgt. Saturn to be 
honorably discharged? Nix, you can’t do it — there’s a 
war still on ya know — and the good Sarge must see 
it through as all good Americans should. Let the 
honored assembly at the NEWARK STF-CON say what 
they may — we want Sgt. Saturn — so there! 

To impound my views on the latest TWS is now my 
task at hand. The cover is rather a grotesque affair, 
a bit on the “sexy’’ side. It’s interesting to note some 
“yokel” is advertising . in the various “fanzines” now 
for more "sex in Science Fiction”. I myself am cam- 
paigning for more PSYCHOLOGICAL angles in stories. 

In “ Battle of the Brains” it’s evident author Shelton 
knows more on this subject than Rockets — if a recent, 
statement of his in a competitive magazine is to be 
taken for merit. Rockets, I surmise, are a bit too fast 
for his “brain” to register accurately. 

The “shorts” were of unusually high calibre — bring- 
ing into full light that these writers are still masters 
of STF. 

READER SPEAKS still rates the usual "tops ”. — 2050 
Gilbert Street, Beaumont, Texas. 

Thanks for the kind words, Reader Cun- 
ningham — but, alas or otherwise, your “we” 
who want the Sarge as of yore seems to be 
a trifle too much on the editorial side. If you 
prefer psychology to sex, that’s your affair — 
personally the Sarge feels each has its place 
in human affairs. And as for Mr. Shelton on 
the subject of rockets, we think he does bet- 
ter than all right. 

Now let’s turn to the next letter. 



by Dr. S. W. Russell 

Dear Sir : The other day I ran across a copy of your 
magazine TWS, Vol. S, No. 2, dated October, 1936, in 
the house of one of my patients. I borrowed it and 
read it. I have become interested and would be very 
grateful if you could let me have the following in- 

(1.) Would it be possible for you to let me have 
any of the back numbers which are available? 

(2.) Could I place an order with you to send me 
current numbers as and when they become available? 

{3.) Could you let me know the cost of the available 
past issues if you can let me have them? 

If you can and the outlay is not too large, I will 
send you a money order for the amount, including 
postage before you despatch the books. I cannot en- 
close a stamped envelope for your reply as American 
Stamps in England are only to be found in albums. — 
Bank House, Bromyard, Hereford, England. 

A lot of heavy water has poured over the 
TWS dam since October, 1936, Dr. Russell. 
As for your obtaining back copies from us, 
that is, alas, impossible at the moment. But 
I’m printing your letter in the hope that some 
of our bartersome collectors will get in touch 
with you and enable you to work out some- 

You can subscribe to TWS or to STAR- 
TLING STORIES, its companion magazine, 
by sending us a money order for $2.40, which 
includes postage. Domestic subscriptions 
cost $1.80. Such a subscription is of two 
years’ or twelve copies’ duration. 


by Tom Pace 

Dear Sarge: The best tale In the Spring TWS was 
Shelton’s BATTLE OF THE BRAINS. Swell . . . ! Shel- 
ton is rapidly climbing up the list. 

Bradbury’s ROCKET SKIN was second. His style is 
unique. I like it and ROCKET SKIN Is a good example. 
I’ve never run across the idea of hitch-hiking on 
rockets before. Dunno, it should be quite different 
from hoboing on tfains. 

FIND THE SCULPTOR was good, but I’ve read that 
plot before. For that matter, what plot haven’t I? 
Only one out of the many, like Bradbury’s. It’s still 

readable STF. I usually enjoy Leinster's stuff a great 
deal. LIKE DUPS was appealling — fantasy mixed with 

TONE’S PHYSIQUE was a neat little yam. But when 
Kirkland fastened Locks and Jones in the cabinet, why 
wasn’t Jones shrunk some more? 

The cover was fair, although the machine did not 
look convincing. Why not a smooth-skinned feature- 
less metal cigar, such as the story described? 

DEAD CITY looks good. A perfect issue of TWS 
would include BATTLE OF THE BRAINS . . . DEVILS 

. . . THE WORLD THINKER (Vance) . . . SWORD OF 
(Hamilton) . . . THE DISCIPLINARY CIRCUIT (Lein- 
ster)— in other words, the seven best stories out of 
the last five issues. 

If you could only give us an issue with Kuttner, 
Leinster, Shelton. Hamilton, Vance. . . . 

Oh-oh— one yarn I forgot. It’s the sort of tale that 
grows on you. . . . George Whitley’s ONE CAME 
BACK, last Fall. I have a good idea who George 
Whitley is — and that’s quite a tale too. — Eastaboga, 

We don’t know why Jones didn’t shrink 

some more, but it didn’t spoil the story for us. 
The metal cigar might have — to say nothing 
of the cover. But let it pass for the nonce. 

As for your issue with Kuttner, Leinster, 
Shelton, Hamilton and Vance, we come pretty 
close to your ideal with novelets by Kuttner, 
Leinster and Vance slated for next issue. The 
only short story definitely scheduled is by 
Arthur Leo Zagat, much too long involved 
with OWI labors from which he is recently 
released. That should hurt no one’s feelings, 
nor should a tentatively scheduled short story 
by Keith Hammond. And there will be others, 
perhaps a Hamilton to bring your dream 
closer to reality, Tom. We have nothing new 
from Shelton on hand at the present. Too 


by Ray Corley 

Dear Sarge: My pal! Greetings! Hello. Glad to sea 
you. Yes indeed. You deserve a pat on the back. 
Great issue. Best yet. 

Again Earle Bergey has startled the word of Fan- 
dom. The eternal triangle seems to have been dis- 
posed of. No BEM, Babe and Hero this issue. Just 
BEM and Babe. Huzza! Huzza! But since when has 
Earth a yellow sky? 

Enough of sorrow. Let us be happy. This is the 
time when my thoughts turn fondly to rating the 
stories. I know it’s an awful ordeal for you, Sarge. 
but it must be done. Duty calls! 

BATTLE OF THE BRAINS— Good grief! Another 
robot story. But I loved it. Splendid writing. Won- 
derful plot. Reminded me of Adam Link. 

INDESTRUCTABLE MAN— Hamilton is sinking. This 
is not like the old days. 

UNDERMOST — I liked it, but though it would be 
simple to put a friction solvent on the car alone, 
how would they do it on a thousand miles of tunnel? 


FIND THE SCULPTOR — A very good time-machine 
story. It reminds me of the time I. . . . No. I’d better 
not tell it. Ye Sarge might take it to heart when I 
told him I found a Xeno-guzzling creature in the 
long-ago past. Could it be one of your ancestors, 

JONES’ PHYSIQUE — Very well written. The true 
life of myself. 

ROCKET SKIN — Alas! Ray Bradbury has sunk 
into the depths of solitude. I refuse to comment on. 
the story, as I do not use that kind of language. 

LIKE DUPS — Perfect! Speaking of Murray Leinster, 
when is he going to give us. another story like THE 

THE READER SPEAKS — 'Ron Anger, I salute you! 
Yes indeed!! That beautiful (?) drawing is a per- 
fect picture of Ye Sarge. 

Weil! Well! See my letter is first this month. A 
fine choice, Sarge. You know talent when you see 
it. (Yas, I’ll give you the jug of Xeno I promised. 

Leon Bimbaum! You evil creature, how dare you 
call TWS tripe? You dare to compare Kuttner’s 
to Lovecraft? Why the plot of IN THE VAULT could 
be used to a thousand times better advantage by one 
of our modem writers. Give it to a newcomer like 
Leroy Yerxa or Gardener F. Fox and you would have 
a STORY instead of a sketch full of flowery adjectives. 

You had best retract your statement. Robert Bloch 
is not half as good as H. P. Lovecraft. but ttoice as 
good. We fans do not like to have our favorite writers 
pulled through the mire. Not that Robert Bloch is 
my favorite writer — he is not. I just gave him as an 

By the way, what’s wrong with three-issue-old 
readers? At one time you had only read three issues, 
hadn’t you? If it were not for new readers and authors 
Science-fiction would become stale. 

And now, Sarge, let me tell you of my little time 


Ah yes. 1 can remember it as if it were but yester- 
day. (It was.) 

I worked on my invention for many moons. Summer 
came and went south for the winter. At last I finished. 

Bidding goodbye to my fellow dogs (of the hound 
variety) I seated myself and took the controls in my 
strong (!) bronzed hands. 

I was blinded for a second, and then sight returned. 
I was standing on the warm earth of yesteryear. 

A caveman approached me, peering beneath beetled 
brows. Then I knew I would be the first civilized 
man to hear an ancient caveman of the stone age. 
He opened his huge mouth and grunted: 

“What’s cookin’, Jackson?” 

"I am," I replied. "I’m your great-great-great- 
great-great-grandson. I come from the FAIR Cities of 

“By the way you pronounce the word ‘FAIR’ I pre- 
sume your name is LaGuardia. Be I right?” 

I saw red. I shouldn’t have done what I did next, 
but I couldn’t help myself. I put on my black hat, 
grabbed the funny papers, and said: 

“And now, kiddies, Breathless Mahony hits the 
gardener with a hammer.” — 16 E. 24th St., Bayonne, 

This, on the whole, is another example of 
the kind of letter not to write the Sarge in the 
future. But the sentiment is sweet by and 
large and we are well aware of the fact that 
transitions should not be made too abruptly. 
Watch your tendency to compare authors. 
Such comparisons are definitely malodorous 
if carried to extremes. 


by Joe Hayhurst 

Dear Sarge: Well! That spring ish was really 

somethin’. Every time I read your mag X decide to 
write in and express my opinions. But, I never get 
around to it. This time I simply must express my 
gratitude for “Battle of the Brains.” There was a 
scientifiction tale that really hit the spot. The idea of 
human brains deposited in metal bodies intrigues me. 

As for the rest of the stories, “Rocket Skin” and 
“Find the Sculptor,” were, in my opinion, the best of 
the lot, with “Like Dups,” and “Indestructible Man,” 
following. “Undermost” was hackish, and “Jones’ 
Physique” just doesn’t rate. 

The cover. I like pin-ups too, Sarge, but not on my 
stf covers. I would like to see what goes on in Mr. 
Bergey’s mind as he laughingly paints BEM’s, despite 
the protests of hundreds of fen, and gleefully draws 
beautiful babes with a few scraps of very form-fitting 
clothing hanging on with the aid of a tom strap. Really, 
Sarge, it’s getting to where I’m ashamed to walk down 
the street with a copy of TWS unless it is folded under 
my arm. 

The pictures for “Battle of the Brains” were both 
very good. 

By the way, you said you wanted more answers to 
the Cosby poll. Here’s mine: 

1. One novel per issue is plenty. 

2. Four or five pictures to a novel is possible. 

3. Enough for an effective story. 

4. One or two. j 

5. Four 

6. None. Save the space for S-F. 

7. a. Story behind the story, 
b. The reader speaks. 

8. It would be nice. 

9. YES! Very much. 

10. Depends on the quality of the stories. 

11. Four bits or a dollar. 

12. No; ugh! 

13. Never would be too soon. 

14. As often as possible. 

15. Series stories have a way of getting in a rut. 
Like Lefty Feep. 

16. Serials are swell, if good enough to hold your 
interest from month to month. 

17. I like all the artists some of the time, and some 
of them all of the time. Especially Finlay. 

18. None. 

Well, that’s about all for now, Sarge, and keep up 
the good (?) work. — Belton , Texas.. 

Thanks for the Cosby rating, Mr. Hayhurst. 

But as for the fan beeves about the covers, 
they do sell magazines regardless of fen 
opinion. So your purists will continue to get 
them come what may. Why not fold your j 
inhibitions under your arms instead of TWS? : 
And if you want long novels, read STAR- 
TLING STORIES. That’s where we print' 
them, one per issue. 


by Gerry de ia Ree 

Dear Sarge: Here I go again. It seems to me I’ye , 
made this same plea a number of times and I guess 
I’ll just keep on until someone does something about it* 

One of the best science fiction authors ever intro- 
duced by Wonder Stories was Stanley G. Weinbaum, 
I’m sure that most fans will agree 1 with this statement. 
Why, in Heaven’s name, can’t you set aside one issue 
of either TWS or STARTLING for a Weinbaum 
Memorial number? 

Your two magazines published a total of eleven 
Weinbaum yams, among them three of his best — 
“The Black Flame," “Dawn of Flame” and “A Martian 
Odyssey.” I realize that just about every Weinbaum 
short you have the copyright on has been reprinted 
at one time or another in SS, but I’m certain that your 
readers would all like to see these stories combined 
into one issue of the magazine. 

From a money angle you would gain on the issue, 
for the stories are already yours. About your only 
expenses on this issue would be for art work, which 
you must have for each number anyway. Perhaps your 
publisher is against a reprint ^blicy— 4his I wouldn’t 

It’s only a suggestion, but to get “The Black Flame,” 
“Dawn of Flame” and six or seven Weinbaum shorts in 
one issue would be worth considerably more than 15c 
to me — and to others, also, I assume. — 9 Bogert Place, 
Westwood, New Jersey . 

As one of the most active of eastern fan 
magazine publishers and one of the more 
thoughtful students of STF, Mr. de la Ree de- 
serves an answer to his plea. First, we agree 
heartily with him on the merits of the work 
of the late Stanley G. Weinbaum. He de- 
serves all the reprinting the paper supply 
will stand. 

Furthermore, all eleven of the stories 
printed in the old WONDER MAGAZINE 
have been republished as Hall of Fame Clas- 
sics in STARTLING STORIES. Which is 
pretty good proof of the above pudding. 

But our magazines are primarily and en- 
tirely (with the exception of the H-of-F 
Classics in SS) devoted to the publication of 
new science fiction and fantasy. To stop dead 
in our tracks to reprint an all- Weinbaum 
issue would hardly be encouraging to our 
authors in these days of bi-monthly publi- 

So if Mr. de la Ree’s request is ever ful- 
filled, it will have to be in the nature of some 
special supplementary publication — and in 
these days of still-limited paper supply, such 
a publication is out of the question. Sorry. 


by Alvin R. Brown 

Dear Sarge: Now we have it, now we don’t. By 
that I mean quality in dear old TWS. To illustrate, 
take the present issue. Spring, 1946. 

Starting from the cover, a series of groans issues 


from my ruby red lips. Is that art? Maybe I’m crazy, 
but I don’t think so. Can’t you find someone better 
than Bergey? 

Your stories collectively aren’t worth a plugged 
nickel. The best in the issue is LIKE DUPS by Lein- 
ster, but only because it had no competition. The 
issue as a whole doesn’t even count as far as I’m 

The illustrations aren’t even worth talking about. 
Suffice to say that the cuts for the ads were better 
than the story pics. 

One letter in the reader speaks interested me. So an 
open letter to Mr. Birnbaum. 

"Dear Mr. B., One thing you forget, HPL was not 
a science fiction writer. I’ve been reading S-F for 
8 or 9 years but I still consider HPL a fine writer 
of horror and fantasy BUT DEFINITELY NOT OF 
SCIENCE FICTION. If Mr. B. will read “The Best 
of Science Fiction” edited by Graff Conklin, he’ll 
find out what I mean. 

“And you really left yourself wide open in your 
last paragraph. Have you ever read anything by 
Weinbaum or CA Smith or EE Smith, etc? I also have 
read quite a bit of Lovecraft, but you stick to horror 
and fantasy and I’ll take my S-F straight with no 
me.” — 139-29 34th Road, Flushing, New York. 

They are annoying, aren’t they, Reader 
Brown? As for that, so are your other ex- 
pressed opinions. 


by Tom Jewett 

Dear Ghoul (pardon me, I saw your picture) : Just 
read the Spring issue of TWS. It contains the best 
collection of stories you’ve published in a coupla 

In first place with 8 Xeno highballs is “Battle of 
the Brains.” This was darn good. Especially the 
beginning with the description of the awakening 
of the brain of James Mason. I wondered how you 
were going to introduce a female interest. Speaking 
of females (and who isn’t), the pic on Page 13 was 
very good. 

Next with 5 Scotch-and-sodas is “Indestructible 
Man.” A darn good story by Cap Future’s papa. 
A unique plot. A novel part was where Carl played 
mumble-de-peg on Ryan’s chest. I bet that tickled. 

Third with 4 whiskey-sours is “Rocket Skin.” It 
oses a new thought on the aspects of space-travel. 

never thought about it that way. 

"Lend me your horse-shoe magnet, Junior. Daddy’s 
got to make a quick business trip to Mars.” or — 
“Don’t kick Daddy apart from the skin, Junior. He’s 
carrying our overnight bags!” 

Fourth with 2 Tom Collinses is "Rocket Pants.” Also 
good. “Don’t glue Daddy's pants to the sky rocket, 
Junior. He gets ‘high’ often enough as it is!” 

Fifth with a mint julep is "Undermost” or "Hell- 
bound Subway.” I’ve been told to go to hell before, 
but it’s too much when I got to pay my own car- 
fare. Anyway, it’s a good story. 

Next comes the other three with a jump into Vat 69. 
These were good, but not as good as the others. 

The cover painting by "Bruiser” Bergey was good. 
EXCEPT (see how I sneaked that in) — the brain 
wouldn’t need all those port-holes to see with, would 
he? He sure is using those claws to good advantage! 

Noticed Mr. Anger’s portrait of you, Sargey. Haw, 
I didn’t think anybody else had dreams like mine. 

Inside pics: Best are on pages 13 and 15. I kinda 
like those symbolic pictures like that on page 15, I 
do wish you’d get somebody else in Marchioni’s 

Your letter dep’t wasn’t up to par this ish. How 
about starting a real high-power discussion in your 
colyums. Maybe like how many molecules per cubic 
centimeter in space. Or something harder. Anyway, 
something anybody above a moron can sink his teeth 
in. After all, not all of us have graduated. I didn't 
have any physics in school, so I’m practically ignorant. 

Look, Sargey, I think you’re making an issue out of 
not letting Thomas or O’Donnell sign their names 
to their artwork. You could put a line at the bottom 
of the page telling the artist. Don’t worry about us 
not having anything to gripe about. We’ll find some- 
thing if we gotta haul out our “Little Peachy” electron 

Tell Ray Corley to make a noise like an air raid 
siren and blow. 

Mr. G. U. Imditt— what are you spelled backwards? 

Tom Wade — what you got against pinups? 

About your portrait, Sarge. You look like one of 
my ghoul-friends. So long for now. — 670 George 
Street, Clyde Ohio. 

All we can say, outside of remarking that 
Mr. Jewett certainly seems to be more easily 
satisfied than the majority of letter writer- 
inners, is that he certainly seems to have re- 
verted to tripe — the old tripe — the tripe the 
Sarge is desperately trying to escape. Per- 
haps we can wish our three gremlins on him. 


by Gene Hunter 

Dear Sarge: Are we still double -spacing these 

things? I’ve forgotten. Oh well, little matter. Firstly, 
what’s happened to all the old guards of letterhax in 
THE READER GIBBERS? Anger’s the only guy I 
vaguely remember. Kennedy must be dead or some- 
thing. He must be. I haven’t heard from him nor 
received VAMPIRE in ages. 

Even my one-time correspondent Chad Oliver is 
among the missing this time. And who’s seen that 
old contributor, Jay Chidsey? Haven’t seen an epistld 
by him in eons. Given up fantasy, Jayhawk? Then 
there’s Krueger — and Hamel — and Pace — all unac- 
counted for in some time. 

Hmmmm. Perhaps this letter will stir some of the 
boys out of hiding. Going back even further in the 
haze that envelopes the old issues of TWS, remember 
the days of that slap-happy sergeant (no, not you), 
Jerry Mace? And that little twerp who used to 
disagree with everything I said, Ronnie Maddox? 

Not to mention Ebey, Carter (he’s overseas — poor 
guy) , Waible, “O-but-G” Kinkade, and others? I 
could go even further back to the days of Hidley and 
D. B. Thompson, but I won’t. Perhaps I'm in a 
nostalgic mood tonight. But seriously, I’d like to see 
some of that old bunch turn up again in these pages. 

Must Hunter carry on alone? Then so be it 

a bad issue at all, Sarge. Not as good as Summer 
(2.9) or the last ish (3.1), but still pretty good. 

First, the cover. That walking-leaping-surface-craft- 
submarine -fly-by -night gizmo in the background is 
equal to the best ever done by Rogers. I didn’t dis- 
like the unfortunate shemale in the foreground, either, 
Brother Bergey. You’ve proved again that you can 
do excellent work, given the right scene to work 
with. Mr. B. takes home a 3.0 classification. 

Thomas (?) takes first place in the interior depart- 
ment with 3.0, while Marchioni and Morey, both better 
than usual, grab off 2.5. 

Stories : 

1. BATTLE OF THE BRAINS— Jerry Shelton— 3.8. 
Very good, Shel. Just about the best you’ve done. 
Some of your yams I haven’t cared for in the past 
(DEVILS FROM DARKONIA, to mention one) but this 
redeems everything nicely. 

2. ROCKET SKIN — Ray Bradbury — 3.0. Very neat. 
Brad has evolved more new ideas than any other 
stf or fantasy writer in the past couple of years. Now 
if he’d just work on some longer stuff. . . . 

3. UNDERMOST — Manly Wade Wellman— 3.0. Manly 
hasn’t turned out anything really outstanding in a long 
time, I’m afraid, but he keeps on a pretty even keel. 
Hasn’t done any really poor work lately, either. How 
about some more petal-pussed Martians one of these 

4. LIKE DUPS — Murray Leinster — 3.0. How do you 
pronounce that, anyway? Dupps — dupes — or what? 
Never mind. Nicely done, Mr. Jen — er, Mr. Leinster. 
Another one of my long-time favorites. 

5. ROCKET PANTS— Noel Loomis— 2.5. Here we 
begin to drop down to the average level on our little 
poll. Nice space adventure, but after all. . . . 

6. INDESTRUCTIBLE MAN— Edmond Hamilton— 2.5. 
Shades of Superman! Not as good as the same author’s 
novel last time, but still passable. 

7. FIND THE SCULPTOR— Samuel Mines— 2.5. Old 
idea, old treatment, still good. 

8. JONES’ PHYSIQUE— Wilm Carver— 2.5. I'm hold- 
ing my breath waiting for all those self-styled 
scientists to start prattling about this size reduction- 

megs business again. It’s inevitable, of course. 

That’s all Sarge. You put together a nice issue 
this time, taking a 2.8 average. You’ve done a lot 
worse in the past. Don’t let this bi-monthly business 
lower your standards any.— 2503 Burton Avenue, 
San Gabriel, California. 

We shall try not to, Reader Hunter. As a 
matter of fact, materials on hand and due 
to come in shortly should lift the level higher 
still. Most of the boys who can really con- 
ceive and write fine STF are back on the job. 
So — stay with it. It should prove worth while. 

As to the absence of the hacks 'supreme, 
Kennedy, Oliver, et al, it seems highly prob- 
able that they have passed through or are 
emerging from the phase of writing the Sarge. 
Their epistles show up much more rarely 
these days. 

However, a check of back issues should 
serve to reveal to you that writer-inners 
come and go in groups, and that a letter de- 
partment such as THE READER SPEAKS 
rises and falls with them. Fortunately, a new 
gang always seems to step in and pick up the 

Still, if the above mentioned Kennedy and 
Oliver are missing, such regulars as Gene 
Hunter, Tom Pace and Rick Sneary are on 
hand to stand up for the old guard. At least 
we are getting plenty of mail. And here is 
one who preceded all of those you mention, 
back for another crack at the Sarge after a 
long hitch in the Marines. 


by Wilkie Connor 


Dear Sarge: About two years ago, Uncle Sam needed 
a few Marines for his Third Marine Division, so he 
yanked this humble person away from STF and 
plunged him into places where TWS and STF were 
unknown! I’ve been released a month, and I’ve 
strayed back into the fold of TWS fans with the 
Spring issue. 

From the bottom of my heart, I can say I think TWS 
is an excellent magazine. The stories aren’t as deep 
and “high-toned” as some of the others, but I find 
they have a “human” quality and a certain amount 
of “story” that makes up for their often trite plots. 
And, as the Bard said, “The ‘Story’ is the thing!” 

There is bound to be a certain amount of triteness 
in every basic story plot, regardless of what fiction 
field used. There are just thirty-six (I think, without 
looking it up) “dramatic situations.” I must hand it to 
your authors for their ingenuity in their handling of 
these situations and very, very often manage to pull 
a brand new chestnut from an old fire! 

When I first became acquainted with STF in the 
ancient days of Ray Cummings’ “Girl of The Golden 
Atom” people often sneered at the perverted minds 
who could dream of such impossibilities. I couldn’t 
restrain .my laughter, when, out on the Guamanian 
boon -docks on maneuvers, we first got word of the 
atomic weapons being used on Japan. I wonder if the 
atom bomb is a product of a “perverted” mind? 

Now that radar has conquered space, how long 
will it be, I wonder, until man himself traverses the 
unknown? Or should we still call it the unknown? 
For via radar pictures, the “unknown” should soon 
become the “known” — even before man personally 
visits the outer voids, he will find it possible to 
know, far better than any telescope could tell, just 
exactly what the scoop is — just exactly what he’s 
running into ! Eight? 

[ Turn page} 



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“Battle of the Brains” was a good yam, but it 
seemed to be a condensed novel. It should have 
been drawn out, mellowed and ripened into a full- 
bodied tale. Then, it would have merited a place 
amongst the great yams of all time, instead of being 
merely just another good story. 

Your best artists never sign their names. Are they 

Now that the paper shortage has been relieved, 
how’s about that annual we were discussing along 
about the time Japan became ambitious ? — Box 2392, 
West Gastonia, North Carolina. 

Welcome back, Mr. Conner. It was our 
humble belief that the Bard said, “The Play’s 
the thing,” but we suppose the “story” is in- 
terchangeable with the same. As to the 
thirty-six possible dramatic situations, only 
about one-third of them are publishable by 
modern-standards of moral taste. The others, 
stemming from the Greeks, have acquired a 
lot of unprintable names for themselves that 
would astonish even the average woman’s 
club reader group. 

The world is still out debating the decision 
as to the mind of the inventor of the atom 
bomb — inventors, rather. And our artists sign 
their names when they feel like it and the 
art editor doesn’t cut off too much of the 
bottoms of their pictures. Annuals are still 
beyond our present plans, thanks to the paper 
set-up. But the near future should reopen 
the discussion. 


by Garvin Berry 

Dear Sarge: Have just robbed the Army of its 
brightest luminary with intentions of switching said 
b.l. back to stf fandom. First duty of course was to 
try out all pro mags to decide which to resume read- 
ing. Yours was one of the few to pass the test al- 
though not, I’m afraid, with flying colors. Opinions 
herewith attached. 

Spr., ’46 issue. Cover: Bergey can plan & paint at 
least an adequate cover, so why this sort of thing? 

Stories: In general, too much cops- ’n’ -robber at- 
mosphere with a faint haze of melodrama befoggin’ 
the air. Assay about 55% hack too. Several good 
authors here, but not up to par, esp. Leinster & Brad- 

1. BATTLE OF BRAINS — Fairly good. Should have 
been longer for more complete development of 
human-machine relations, Klarth’s aims, etc. Could 
stand a sequel; in fact, a series here would make the 
old Zorome yarns look like comic strip drama. 

2. ROCKET SKIN — 2nd because I like Bradbury 
even in his more hackish moments. The space hitch- 
hiker idea was new to me. 

3. LIKE DUPS — Like Leinster even in his ditto 
moments too. Aged plot, but nice work on the 
Martians esp. the fascinating plants-for-everything 
idea. Pains me, though, the way some of the more 
imaginative boys dream up a beautiful set-up like 
this to be discarded after one second-rate yarn. 

4. UNDERMOST — Like most Wellmans, carefully 
planned, coherent & readable. I like MMW; never 
know when he’ll pop up with a TWICE IN TIME. 

Rest of issue is pure trivia. Hamilton is intrinsically 
better than MMW. but rapid writing carelessness & 
formula usually ruin him as amply shown in this 
feeble imitation of Weinbaum’s ADAPTIVE ULTI- 
MATE called ROCKET PANTS which has a dated plot, 
sloppy writing, insipid characterization. The other 
two shorts are throwbacks to the oldest time-travel 
plots & Ray Cumming’s Tubby plus his myriad ver- 
sions of Golden Atom shrinkage. 

I wish it were THE READER SPEAKS instead of 
SGT. SATURN SPEAKS. I hated the SS inanity when 
it first infiltrated in ’40-’41; it’s even worse now that 
it has reached its putrescent peak. G. U. Imditt — apt 
cognomen, there — of Phoenix (May Klone smile be- 
nevolently upon him) has aptly expressed my feelings 

same for the regurgitation which seizes me each time 
I see the infantile trash. This wasted space could be 
much better utilized for a revival of the Science Fiction 
League. — 1107 Fugate Street, Houston, Texas. 

Well, perhaps you prefer the Sarge in cur- 
rent guise — we hope. Otherwise, we are 
crushed, never to rise again — but take no 
money on that one. 


by Telis Streiff 

Dear Sarge: I have decided to honor you with my 
comments (whoops) on the Spring Thrilling Wonder 
Stories. First-off the cover . . . altho the colors are 
gaudy the artistic point of view is fine. But on the 
cover there are teeth in the talons, but on the inside 
(page 13) there are no teeth . . . why? 

Four novelets and four shorts, but (I use that word 
a lot, don’t I) there is no novel . . . again I ask why? 

BATTLE OF THE BRAINS by Jerry Shelton ... if 
this had been made into a novel it would have been 
a true classic. As it is, it’s a wonderful novelet. 

INDESTRUCTIBLE MAN by Edmond Hamilton . . . 
this is a very poor excuse for stf ... we get enuf 
of Superman in the funnies. 

UNDERMOST by Manly Wade Wellman. Well I 
guess it was QX. 

ROCKET PANTS by Noel Loomis . . . BBuurrpp. 

FIND THE SCULPTOR ... by Samuel Mines . . . 
“THEY SCULP” was better, get the connection? 
QX . . . I'll bite, who did make the statue? 

JONES’ PHYSIQUE by Wilm Carver , . . reminds 
me of the Tubby stories. However in places it was 
funny (?), 

ROCKET SKIN by Ray Bradbury . . . fine . . . but 
would a person who knew that only one out of every 
three would live try that journey? Not I. I rather value 
my life. 

LIKE DUPS by Murray Leinster . . . hell heh heh 
well I guess Breen got what he was after. I still value 
my life. 

THE READER SQUEEKS (oops parden) More crazy 
letters more droopy replies more morons more idiots. 
Hmmmmmm why don’t you end it all Sarge, drink 
MARTIAN VARNISH (a drink) and jump out a space 
lock . . . without your space suit. — 548 North Dellrose, 
Wichita 6, Kansas. 

And your letter is by far the droopiest in- 
cluded in this issue, Reader Streiff. 
Straighten up, et cetera! We have already 
explained that, if you want a novel, you’ll 
not conceived for stories of that length. 
Which should answer the query for all time. 
Next. . . . 


by Rick Sneary 

Dear Sarge: Well after a long wait you finally did 
send good old TWS into this part of the country. I 
thought you were mad or something. 

As always I have a word about the cover. It’s 
not bad this time, for a change. At least he has a 
rocket on the cover. Of course, Bergey made the usual 
mistakes. The Super was a brain, and thus why the 

Most of the stories were good, but two were out- 
standing. They were Battle of the Brains and Rocket 
Skin. Both more because of the new ideas they 
brought forward than newness of plot. 

Battle of the Brains was not really a new idea, but 
it was handled well. The idea of one man being a 
whole spaceship has vast possibilities. But it seemed 
to me I came in late. Or anyway it seemed to be the 
second part of a story. (Tho, of course, it wasn’t.) 
Those fen that don’t like love with their stories must 
have been happy with this one. It was cut down to 
.00005. Do it a little more often, why don’t you. 

The other story I liked was the shorty, Rocket Skin. 

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This Ray Bradbury is good. Almost another Kuttner. 
Now I for one don't think it would be possible to hold 
onto the side of a space ship with a 10-ton magnetic, 
but it was a darn good story. 

The drama and horror of it were brought out very 
well. The longing of the man Ellis to see and feel the 
sun was, even tho he was supposed to be the villain, 
pathetic. It makes one stop and think, we who have 
everything, what it would be like to do without some 
of the commonest of them. 

The sun rising in the morning is common enough 
thing to us, but what would we do if it didn’t? For 
just one day? We on the West Coast know what it 
is to sit in the sun and feel its warmth and relax in 
it. The thought of a world without a Sun is — well 
it is beyond my power to imagine. 

The humorist, Pop, and the wise philosopher were 
interesting in their ways too. Again I say it was one 
of your best short stories. I am always -glad when you 
have something like this. Interlink was one and so 
was the outstanding You’ll see a Pink House. Too bad 
there can’t be more like them, but you can’t help it 
I suppose. 

The rest of the stories were only average, except for 
Jones’ Physique. Foooy, Hack, bung, tripe! How could 
Carver do such a thing? Why it was like that old 
master hack ray cummings. (No capitals) And after 
the swell Pink House! 

Inside pics were as bad as ever. I suggest you get 
Ron Anger to do your work. Then at least the artist 
would be a fan and could fight back. 

Well, well, the Reader Speaks is surprisingly lacking 
in old friends. Not one I knew. (If you print this 
I’ll at least know one of the dopes — er, I mean 
readers.) After reading Imditt (the wag!)’s letter I 
decided one thing. You can’t refuse to print my letters 
because of the spelling. I agree with you about the 
phone numbers. 

A rose (just one, not four) to you, old dear, for 
your comeback at Rirnbaum. I will admit I have read 
only one Lovecraft story, but I didn’t like it. I wouldn’t 
say he was nuts for liking Lovey, but I don’t think he 
should say Glisson is nuts either. Glisson may be new, 
but he knows what he likes. 

[Turn page] 

SEE the 'VUoritl In pictures ! 

tainmenl*. on the 

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I myself would rather read a good TWS story than 
a Lovey. (If they are like the one I read) I don’t 
like weird stories, and I don’t like his plots. But I 
don’t expect to have many agree with me. One thing, 
there wouldn’t be much to read if we all only liked 
one writer. I like Kuttner, but I would get tired of 
Kuttner and nothing else .—. 2962 Santa Ana St., South 
Gate, Calif. 

Methinks there lurks a sentimentalist be- 
neath the Sneary space armor. All that 
drivel about appreciating the wonders we 
have? Who ever did appreciate what he had? 
Surely not Reader Sneary. He doesn’t even 
appreciate TWS. 

And who says only West Coasters get sun- 
burns? Ye Sarge hopes you blister your lily 
white hide! 


by Jim Kennedy 

Dear Sarge: Today I sauntered into a bookstore to 
look over the stock when suddenly a bright cover off 
in one comer caught my eye. But I made the mistake 
of calling out the name of the book as I dove for it 
and I wound up in a scramble with a half dozen 
other customers. I emerged from the pile victorious. 

Dropping fifteen cents on the counter as I went out 
I rushed home. But I had to run for my life. For I 
hadn’t gone more than two blocks when there were 
about twenty people after me. But I made it home 
safely and bolted the door. Ignoring the clamoring 
crowd outside, I set back to read the book. 

Just then I thought I had gotten the wrong book. 
No! there was the name, THRILLING WONDER 
STORIES. But where was the Bern? Where was the 
Hero to fight the Bern? All there was was a broken 
down machine trying to get fresh with a girl. 

Then I saw Bergey’s name on the cover. There was 
only one conclusion. Bergey must have been blind- 
folded at the time because it was one of his best 
covers. But break the news to him gently or he’s 
liable to have a relapse. 

Looking inside I almost fainted. Not the usual 
three or four stories to a book. Not five, not six, but 
eight stories. How did this get by the censor? 

THE BATTLE OF THE BRAINS was a little com- 
plicated in spots, but none the less a good story. Too 

Amazing Thrills on a 

The prayers of the most worthy people often fail. Why? 
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bad your artist doesn’t think so. The illustrations 
were awful. But it rates about nine gallons of Xeno. 
Stop drooling, Sargei They’re for the author, not you. 

INDESTRUCTIBLE MAN was excellent. But that is 
not news. I’ve learned that if it is written by Edmond 
Hamilton there is no doubt that it is good. Twelve 
gallons of Xeno for this. 

UNDERMOST wasn’t very good. Only two gallons 
of Xeno for this. It’s about time I started getting 
technical, so! In Undermost on page 56, on the first 
line of the tenth paragraph, either the author or you 
made a mistake. Who is Westwood? Do you mean 
Westcott? Sarge, quit pulling your hair and scream- 
ing like that. 

FIND THE SCULPTOR was fair although it could 
be better. Five gallons for this. 

ROCKET PANTS was pretty good. For once we 
have the hero coming through on just skill alone with- 
out any of these fancy instruments coming along and 
getting him out of a jam in time. Also, of all the 
illustrations, the one on page 67 was the best Give 
this eight gallons. 

worth five gallons. 

LIKE DUPS was lousy. Only 1/2 gallon for this one. 
Even the illustration was bad. 

After I finished the book I quietly fainted. This 
couldn’t be possible. A Thrilling Wonder that was 
worth talking about. There were a few poor stories. 
But there were a lot of good ones. All I got to say is, 
keep up the good work. 

By the way, Sarge! Is this the sixth time I’ve written 
to you or the seventh. I’ve lost track. What’s the use, 
you never publish any of my letters. But just in case 
this gets published, I’ll send out my usual S.O.S. 

WANTED: Back issues of Startling Stories, Thrilling 
Wonder Stories and Captain Future: STARTLING 

Stories. . . . All issues of the years 1937, 1938, 1939, and 
1940. All issues of 1941 except Nov. All of 1942 except 
Nov. All of 1943 except Mar. and June. 

THRILLING WONDER stories: All 1937 except Oct. 
All of 1938 except Apr. All of 1939. All of 1940 except 
June, Sept, and Dee. All of 1941. All of 1942 except 
Oct. and Dec. Also June 1943. . 

[ Turn page ] 

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"‘TtiVIE CHASERS".- Acoll«»ie» 

in pocket cite of humor and pathos in proto 
and verso by Susan Bond. This litti. book ol 
more. than 50 subjects also is mighty lino 
reading to fiil that waiting timo in homo, 
office of on the train. 

CAPTAIN FUTURE: The Seven Space Stone, Cap- 
tain Future’s Challenge, Star Trail To Glory, Planets 
In Peril, The Star of Dread, The Face Of The Deepy 
Quest Beyond The Stars, Outlaws Of The Moon, 
Days of Creation, The Comet Kings, Magic Moo*. 
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By the way, Sarge! I thought in the March issue 
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Stories and Thrilling Wonder Stories were coming 
out bi-monthly. That’s why I was expecting the 
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And another thing, Sarge . . . Well, whatcha know! 
The Sarge has fainted! — Summit City, California. 

SS and TWS are bi-monthly. The lapse in 
labeling them was due to a shift in the publi- 
cation date which has thus been deftly 
jumped in true space-warp style. Better lay 
off the Xeno, bub. It can become a habit, you 
know. And a demerit for catching the West- 
cott-Westwood error on page 56. Westwood 
is the home of Author Manly Wade Wellman 
and Fanhack Gerry de la Ree. So don’t take 
us to task too bitterly for getting confused. 

So, the new Sarge is now officially born. 
Give us a line on how you like and/ or dislike 
him. He’s still ready with plenty of harpoons 
for his critics. See you next time we hit the 
stands, and keep those letters coming. Please 
address all communications to Sergeant Sat- 
10 East 40th Street, New York 16, N. Y. 
Thank you! 


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M ESSRS. John Russell Fearn, Murray 
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explaining. First, Mr. Fearn: 

It was the thought of how many things do hap- 
pen by chance that led me to piece together the 
details of this novelet. Remember how Huxley 
said that an army of monkeys strumming on 
typewriters would be bound one day, by chance, 
to write a Shakespear sonnet? Remember how 
Eddington has said — and others too — that the 
water in a kettle on the fire might by some 
improbable chance freeze instead of boil? 

Well, these two hypotheses started me off. I 
had to have something more interesting than a 
kettle of water, so I hurried along to the day 
when atom-smashing and metal-transmutation 
will be a mere routine affair. Out of this I 
produced, with I hope something of the unex- 
pectedness of the good magician, a most de- 
lectable blonde. 

I fancied this ought to make for interest, and 
I realized too that I had a fine chance for a 
humorous development — for a blonde in a coldly 
scientific physical laboratory is by no means 

But I had to stick to my original plot outline, 
so the humor was put on one side for the de- 
velopment of the age-old theory on how life 
came to Earth, why Mars has become more arid 
than a dehydrated egg, why Venus has no moon, 
and so on. 

Naturally it is purely a speculation— and show 
me the science-fiction yam which is not — but 
it was a decided joy to write and to figure out, 

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albeit with a headache or two, how much chance 
can rule our lives and to a great extent pre- 
destine our future. 

The wiseacres say — -“Leave nothing to chance!” 
If only they knew it, chance is the single thing 
that is certain! 

Good hunting, fellow scribes and readers! Per- 
haps by some multillionth chance somebody will 
like the yarn. 

Modest chap, this Fearn. Rest assured, a 
number of people have already expressed 
liking for the story — hence its appearance in 

Taking fewer chances on chance and with 
more regard to the scientific scene, Mr. Lein- 
ster approached his novelet from a very dif- 
ferent jumping-off place. Says he: 

“Pocket Universes ” came out of an argument 
I had with myself. Under certain circumstances, 
space is warped. Some of it apparently ceases 
to be. If you make a gigantic square, exactly 
accurate, with the sun in the middle, a line 
through the sun to the two parallel lines at right 
angles to it will be shorter than a line at the 
same angle between those two parallel lines a 
few million miles out. It works out that things 
which are equal to the same thing aren’t always 
equal to each other. 

For no particular reason that bothered me, 
and I started to play with the idea of space- 
warps on a small scale and the effects they’d 
produce. The science part of “Pocket Universes ” 
came out of that. 

For the story itself, any number of inven- 
tions have been made and lost. In Nero’s time an 
artisan showed the emperor a crystal goblet 
which he dashed to the ground, dented, ham- 
mered into shape again with a hammer, and 
presented to the emperor. 

Nero had him killed to preserve the value of 
his collection of crystal. Now, we have transpar- 
ent plastics now, but one wonders. . . . And in 
John Evelyn’s diary, he tells that in 1660, in 
Rome, he was shown a ring, from the stone of 
which a man lighted his pipe as often as he 
pleased. The man offered the secret for ten 
ducats, Evelyn thought it too high, later recon- 
sidered and couldn’t find the man again. 

Evelyn wasn’t a liar. They had neither matches 
nor their equivalents at that time, and it wasn’t 
a flint device. We’ve got pocket-lighters now — 
but none as small as the stone in a ring — yet 
one wonders. . . . And how many other discover- 
ies have been made and simply forgotten? You 
guess. I guess a lot. 

There you have the elements of the yarn. 

Apparently Mr. Hammond had not yet 
heard that the Sarge has gone on the wagon 
— hence the highly irreverent tone of his mis- 
sive which follows. Furthermore, your corre- 
spondent has read HELEN’S BABIES, which 
he has among the books in his library, along 

On the whole, Mr. Hammond’s attempt to 
explain the origins of his magnificent fantasy 
is about as finite as any explanation of such 

a story can be — in other words, it doesn’t ex- 
plain a thing. But it has its moments for all 
that, as follows: 

One evening I was showing Sergeant Saturn 
the right way to mix a Xeno cocktail — with 
papaya juice and limes, not kerosene and lemons 
— and we got to talking about science-fiction. 
He didn’t want to. He kept muttering curses 
at people who write him letters without know- 
ing the difference between a helical Henderson 
gravity drive fuse and a beam-powered kly- 
stron — but, anyway, I told him he couldn’t have 
any more Xeno unless he shut up and let me 

“Well,” he said, reaching for the Xeno, “Fll 
tell you one thing, Hamilton — ” 

“Look,” I said, “I’m not Ed Hamilton. Do I 
look like Ed? I’m Hammond, remember.” 

But he only shuddered and gulped Xeno. 

“I don’t care who you are,” he growled, jog- 
gling his anti-gravity belt and floating up to the 
ceiling. “Why are you only two feet high?” 

I looked up at him. 

“That’s perspective,” I said. “Turn off that 
belt of yours and come down. I wish you would- 
n’t wear full space armor when you’re on 

“You’re two feet high.” he said. “Just about 
the size of a small child. Hey, why don’t some- 
body write a story about a small child?” 

“Like Helen’s Babies?” I said. But he hadn’t 
read it. 

“No, a science-fiction yarn,” the Sergeant said, 
struck by an inspiration. “This kid’s a space 
pirate — see? And he’s in love with the beautiful 
daughter of the governor of Mars.” 

“Hand me down the Xeno,” I said. “And just 
how old is this child hero supposed to be?” 
“Oh, ten or twelve . . . hm-m. I see your 
point, Hammond. It wouldn’t be moral to have a 
kid that age make a living at piracy, would it?” 
“A lot you know about morals, you hi-jack- 
ing space-rat,” I said, and he lapsed into invec- 
tive, calling me a knob-headed Neptunian species 
of virulent dandruff, probably because he’d acci- 
dentally dropped the Xeno. 

“Why do you come up with these terrible 
ideas?” he demanded. “You ought to know by 
now that you can’t write a science-fiction story 
about a small child.” 

“It was your idea.” 

“It wasn’t, you draggle-toothed, buck-headed 
offspring of a Saturnian.” 

“Shaddup,” I said, which is Martian for Merry 
Christmas. He glowered. 

“You put a small child up against a Mercutian 
fire -hydra and who do you think would win?” 
“You got something there,” I said. “Did you 
ever consider that the immature colloid mechan- 
ism of homo sapiens’ brain is totally alien to the 

He wished me Merry Christmas in Martian 
and, when I wasn’t looking, chained me to my 
typewriter. After that, he went off with the 
Xeno, singing “Blow the Man Down,” and left 
me to write the story. 

I wasn’t going to mention this, hut the Sergeant 
has been busted down so often he puts his 
stripes on with safety pins. I don’t care if he is 
a galactic non-com, he can’t talk that way to 
me and get away with it. As you were. 


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of what other hospitalization policies you may have, 
your benefits with a Universal Hospitalization Policy 
are not reduced. 

Mail This Coupon Today 

Universal Insurance Service, Inc. 

42 F Merchants Row, Rutland, Vermont 

Please send me, without obligation, fui! inform- 
ation about your low cost Hospitalization insurance. 






Executive Accountants and 0. P. A.’s earn 82,000 to 210,000 a Tear. 
Thousands of firms need them. About 20,000 Certified Public Account*- 
ants In the U. S. We train yon thoroly at home in spare time foe 
C. F. A. examinations or executive accounting positions. Previous az- 

K stance unnecessary. Personal training: under supervision of stag a£ 
P, A.'e, Including members of the American Institute of Account* 
ante. Write for free book, “Accountancy, the Profession That Pays." 

LASALLE Extension University, 417 So. Dearborn St, 
A Correspondence Institution Dept. 9329-H Chicago 5, III. 


Easy Method— Short Time. Home— Travel— Secret Code-Booklet 
Monroe St., N. E., Washington, D. C. 18, 


MEN — Study for work in forests, parka and game refuges. Detail 
free. Write, Deimar Institute, M-4, Tabor Bldg., Denver, Colo. 

Tout Abilities 
ToThe Opportunities 

You have unused talents 
and mental powers. Learn to 
develop those faculties of mind 
which today's world of business 
demands. Start life anew' — with- 
out changing your affairs. Write 
the Rosicrucians for Jree Sealed 
tdiing how you may receive age-old 
teachings to achieve personal power. 
Address: Scrihe E.K.T. 
he BOSICBUC1ANS, (An»orc)« San Jo»«, Calif. 


wr/il BVS//VFSS/ 

(Offers Big Money — Independence 

%f you are mechanically inclined— can hold and use tools it will 
pay you to learn electrical appliance repairing. Operate from your 
garage, basement, etc. Work as many hours as you wish— the 
appliance repairman is his own boss. On many types of repairs it 
Is usual tot a repairman to charge on the basis of $5.00 to $6,00 
®n hour! 

No Previous Experience Needed 

Profusely illustrated our new course shows you in simple, easy to 
understand language plus drawings and photographs, how to make 
each repair on refrigerators, vacuum cleaners, washing machines, 
motors, fans, irons, etc., etc. Explains and gives you a working 
knowledge of electricity, welding, nickel plating, etc. Shows you 
bow to build the power tools you need and how to solicit and keep 
business coming to you. Not a theory course but an honest to 
goodness practical course written by and used by repairmen the 
country over. Price of course is so low that the savings on your 
own household appliances will pay for it. Act now! Send today for 
FREE literature, Christy Supply Co>, 2835 N. Central Ave., Dept, 
D-I8G4, Chicago 34, Illinois. 

Store Route Plan 




Build a good-paying business of your owni 
Call on dealers of all kinds; show nationally- 
advertised Aspirin, Vitamins, Cosmetics and 
200 other necessities: Big 60 and 10c retail 
, packages, high quality: Attractive counter 
: displays seUgoods fast. Free book gives aroaz* 

World's Products 8 Co. , Copt. 73-P, Spencer, Ind. 


Ph BAwKSSOl Stun 

a Mw " ■ 


raWT Dept 

d LARGER EARNINGS. 37 years expert in- 
. JUction — over 108,000 students enrolled. LL.R. 
Degree awarded. All texts furnished. Easy pay- 
ments. Send for FREE BOOK. 

Dept. 69°T, 646 N. Michigan Ave., Chioago H. HI. 

National Baking School an- __ 
flounces their home study course in commer. 
cial baking. Baking is now one of America's 
high Industries in wages. Not a seasonable 
business, but year-’round good field for trained and 
experienced men. If you have the desire and apti- 
tude, send for FREE Booklet, “Opportunities in 
Commercial Baking.” 

.1315 S. Michigan Ave. : Dept. 1806 J Chicago 5, III* 




HERE'S A VALUE 1 Handsome, hefty Genuine 
yellow gold finish, for only $1.98 pins tax. Handsome 
Enrolled mounting. OFFICIAL DISCHARGE EM- 
BLEM. A beautiful ring you’ll wear for life. 

6 (Tun Ufl unugrv Mail your name, address. 
uktlU IfU InUla C. I andringsizetoday.Your 
Genuine Sterling Gold Finish Discharge Ring will he 
sent to you AT ONCE. Pay your postman only $1.98 
plus tax and postage. Wear the ring 10 days, andllf 
not delighted, return It and your money will be re- 
funded at once. Yes. your satisfaction guaranteed 1 
ORDER TODAY. Send strip of paper for size. 


Dept. C-*OS C1NCINNAT8 2, OHIO. 


.Qualify for Certified Grapho-Analysfc Degree, New unerowded, ; 
fascinating field of service. Gratifying earnings reported by l 
graduates in Employment, Credit, Social Service, Police and j 
Judicial, and Entertainment fields. Others have d eveloped ] 
profitable private practice, full or spare 
time, as Personal Problem and Vocational 
Counselors. Send for 3000 word test lesson 
and Grapho -Analyst FREE. 


rs have developed 1 




WORK HOME or TRAVEL. Experience unnecessary, 

DETECTIVE Particulars FREE. Write to 

GEO. R. H. WAGNER, 125 W. 86th St., N. Y. 



This new 128-page book, “Stammering, 
Its Cause and Correction,” describes the 
Bogue Unit Method for scientific 
correction of stammering and 
stuttering — - successful for 45 , 
years. Free — no obligation. 

Beniamin N. Bogue, Depf. 4270, Circle 
Tower, Indianapolis 4, Ind. 

ribes the 

c my, 


AD IS WORTH/* | 0o 

A mazing NEW OFFER gives you 
2 enlargements ef your favorite photo 

To introduce you to the superb quality of ourworkmanship.that has gained 
S# us millions of regular customers, we will make you a free gift of two 5x7 
enlargements which regularly sell for 50c each. Just send us any snapshot, 
photo or negative. Be sure to include color of hair, eyes and clothing — 
and get our bargain offer for having these enlargements beautifully 
hand colored in oil and placed in your choice of handsome frames. 
Please enclose IOC each for handling and mailing. Originals returned 
with FREE prints worth $1. Act AT ONCE. Limit 2 to a customer. 

^HOLLYWOOD FILM STUDIOS * W.119 1021 Santa Monica DM.. Hollywood 38. Calif. 


A Sensational Offer to New Members 

of the Dollar Book Club ■ 



The New Best-Seller 
that Combines the 
Warmth and Human- 
ity of “A Tree Grows 
jn Brooklyn” with the 
Outspoken Truth of 
‘‘Kings Row” 


—yet hid a burning secret of his own! 

Doctor Dan Field knew everything that went 
on in Willowspring — the scandals and the love 
affairs, the heartbreaks and hidden tragedies. 
Yet no one knew that in Dan’s lonely house 
— in the bedroom where no woman had ever 
slept — he kept a white bride’s bed, reserved 
for the wife of another man! 

This great prize-winning novel combines an 
extraordinary love story with a lusty, living 
picture of a small town. Awarded both the 
publisher’s $20,000 prize and the M-G-M 
$125,000 novel award, it is the one book of 
the year you will not want to miss. And it 
can be yours for only a 3c stamp when you 
join the Dollar Book Club! 


The DOLLAR BOOK CLUB is the only club that brings. you newly printed books 
by outstanding authors, for only $1.00 each. You save 50 to 75 per cent from 
the established retail price. Every selection is a handsome, full-sized library 
edition printed exclusively for members. You do not have to accept a book every 
month; only the purchase of six selections a year is necessary. 

The Economical, Systematic Way to Build a Good Library 
Dollar Book Club selections are from the best modern books — the outstanding 
fiction and non-fiction by famous authors. Such outstanding best sellers as 
DRAGONWYCK were all received by members at $1.00 each while the public 
was paying from $2.50 to $3.00 for the publisher’s edition, at retail. 600,000 
discriminating readers are enthusiastic supporters of the Dollar Book Club, 
enabling the Club to offer values unequaled by any other method of book buying. 

Choose Your First Selection from These Best Sellers 
Upon receipt of the attached coupon you will be sent a FREE eopy of "BEFORE 
THE SUN GOES DOWN”. You will also receive as your first selection for 
$1.00 your choice of any of these three great best sellers: 

• Lusty Wind for Carolina by Inglis Fletcher. The swashbuckling new 
novel of pirates and passion in Colonial days. 

• The Foxes of Harrow by Frank Yerby. The 600,000-copy best-seller of 
a gambler who founded a Creole plantation dynasty. 

“Before the Sun Goes Down” yours for 3c stamp! 
Dept. 9T.G., Garden City, N. Y. 

Please enroll me free as a Dollar Book Club Subscriber 
and send me at once "Before the Sun Goes Down" for 
the enclosed 3c stamp. Also send me as my first selection 
for $1.00 the books I have checked below: 

□ The Strange Woman □ Lusty Wind for Carolina 
□ The Foxes of Harrow 

With these books will come my first issue of the free 
descriptive folder called "The Bulletin” telling about the 
two new forthcoming one-dollar bargain book selections 
and several additional bargains which are offered at 
$1.00* each to members only. I am to have the privilege 
of notifying you in advance if I do not wish either of 
the following months’ selections and whether or not I 
wish to purchase any of the other bargains at the Special 
Club price of $1.00 each. The purchase of books is 
entirely voluntary on my part. I do not have to accept 
a book every month— only six during the year to fulfill 
my membership requirement. I pay nothing except $1.00 
for each selection received plus a few cents handling 
and shipping cost. 

• The Strange Woman by Ben Ames Williams. The unforgettable story 
of "A Maine Cleopatra” by the author of “Leave Her to Heaven.” 

Miss . 

Every other month you will receive 'the free descriptive folder called The Bulletin, 
which is sent exclusively to members of the Club. The Bulletin describes the 
next two selections and renews ten or more additional books (in the original 
publishers’ editions selling at retail for $2.50 or more) available to members 
at only $1.00 each. If you do not wish to purchase either or both selections 
for $1.00 each, you may notify the Club and the books will not be sent you. 
You may request an alternate selection if desired. 

(Please Print) 

St. and No 

City & 

Zone No State. 

If under 21, 

Occupation Age, please. 


*Same Price in Canada: 105 Bond St., Toronto 2, Canada 

2 Outdoors, at night, turn on your "Eveready” flash- 
light! Shine it directly at the dog’s eyes, to blind 
and perhaps bewilder him. He may leap at the light, 
however; so don’t hold it in front of you. Hold it at 
arm’s length to the side. Most important . . . 

The fact that 999 dogs out of a thousand are 
■ friendly, safe and lovable doesn’t alter the fact that 
occasionally— through mistreatment, neglect or disease— 
a dog may turn vicious. Such animals are dangerous. 
Especially at night ! If cornered — 

3 Keep still. Don’t move. Don’t run — it’s instinctive 
with most animals to attack anything that runs away 
or moves aggressively. If the dog refrains from attack- 
ing for a few seconds, you have probably won — he is 
apt to growl at the light, then slink off, outbluffed. 


How to Outbluff a 


at night! 

as recommended by 
Lh Camdr, Willy Nicker, 
Wheeling, III. — noted dog 
framer and judge of dog 
$how$***and wartime head 
of u. S. Coat t Guard War 


Far bright light* white light* e§ectwe light — Insist on 
"Eveready" batteries* For they have no equals— that's why 
they're the iargestoettieg flashlight batteries ta the world* 
Yet their extra light* extra lift* cost you eethmg extra! 


50 1 ast 42M Stre et* N ew York 17* N* Y, 
um ef raioit cerem fffH «at cermeam 

The registered 

“Mm#” distift* 
gyishes protaett of 
N&tiws&l Clyteoft